XpresSpa Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XSPA) (“XpresSpa” or the “Company”),
a health and wellness company, today announced through a joint
effort with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
and Ginkgo Bioworks (NYSE: DNA), the expansion of its current
COVID-19 variant surveillance program to detect the new Omicron
variant through its XpresCheck subsidiary.
On Saturday, November 27, the White House
announced new travel restrictions applicable to eight African
countries in response to a new COVID-19 variant of concern,
designated as “Omicron” by the World Health Organization.
“Information about the Omicron variant is
rapidly evolving,” said Dr. Martin Cetron, the Director for the
Division of Global Migration and Quarantine (DGMQ) at the U.S.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). “We are actively
working to scale up this collaborative post-arrival airport-based
surveillance testing program to monitor for this new variant in
On Sunday, November 28, XpresCheck expanded its
COVID-19 biosurveillance program to test passengers entering the
United States from Southern Africa, including passengers making
connections through Europe. The initial COVID-19 biosurveillance
program launched in September and provided testing for travelers
arriving from India at three key United States airports, John F.
Kennedy International Airport, Newark-Liberty International
Airport, and San Francisco International Airport, and is expanding
to include Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport.
The CDC’s program, conducted in collaboration
with XpresCheck and Ginkgo Bioworks, offers two types of free
testing options. The first is a PCR test done on a pooled sample
collected at the airport on arrival. A pooled test means several
passengers’ samples are combined together and tested as a group.
This approach enables efficient large-scale testing of many
passengers entering the country. The second option is an at-home
specimen collection kit that passengers can take with them and mail
back a sample collected three to five days after arrival into the
United States for individualized PCR testing. The CDC strongly
encourages all international travelers to get tested three to five
days after arrival in the United States. Through this program,
results are provided to passengers and public health authorities to
help interrupt the chain of transmission in US communities, and
detect variants of concern entering the United States.
Ginkgo Bioworks’ biosecurity and public health
effort, Concentric by Ginkgo, will manage the testing program,
which includes genetic sequencing of positive tests to detect
presence of the new variant of concern or other SARS-CoV-2
variants. The CDC uses these results for ongoing surveillance
purposes, in order to inform public health decision-making.
“Over the past three months, we’ve been
accumulating real-world experience in conducting an airport-based
COVID-19 surveillance of international arriving passengers, while
refining and streamlining our testing processes to maximize program
results,” said Doug Satzman, XpresSpa Group CEO. “Now that
we’ve got the network built and running smoothly, we believe we can
rapidly pivot to adapt to any new variants of concern, including
the latest Omicron variant.”
“We stand ready to provide the biosecurity tools
and expertise needed to give our public health leaders the weather
map they need at this point in the pandemic,” said Matthew
McKnight, Ginkgo Bioworks’ Chief Commercial Officer. “This
collaboration with the incredible teams at XpresCheck and the CDC
will provide critical information for passengers, for communities,
and for national pandemic response.”
About XpresSpa Group, Inc.
XpresSpa Group, Inc. (Nasdaq: XSPA) is a leading global
health and wellness holding company operating three distinct
brands: Treat™, XpresCheck™, and XpresSpa™. Treat is a travel
health and wellness brand that will be providing on-demand access
to healthcare through technology and personalized services.
XpresCheck is a leading on-site airport provider of COVID-19
screening and testing with 14 locations in 12 domestic
airports. XpresSpa is a leading airport retailer of spa
services and related health and wellness products, with 43
locations in 21 airports globally.
To learn more about XpresSpa Group,
visit: www.XpresSpaGroup.com.To learn more about Treat,
visit: www.Treat.com.To learn more about XpresCheck,
visit: www.XpresCheck.com.To learn more about XpresSpa,
visit www.XpresSpa.com.Twitter: @Treat_Care and Instagram:
@treat_careTwitter: @xprescheck and Instagram:
@realxprescheckTwitter: @XpresSpa and Instagram: @XpresSpa
About Ginkgo Bioworks
Ginkgo is building a platform to enable customers to program
cells as easily as we can program computers. The company's platform
is enabling biotechnology applications across diverse markets, from
food and agriculture to industrial chemicals to pharmaceuticals.
Ginkgo has also actively supported a number of COVID-19 response
efforts, including K-12 pooled testing, vaccine manufacturing
optimization, and therapeutics discovery. For more information,
Forward-Looking Statements of XpresSpa Group,
This press release may contain "forward-looking"
statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act
of 1933, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
These include statements preceded by, followed by or that otherwise
include the words "believes," "expects," "anticipates,"
"estimates," "projects," "intends," "should," "seeks," "future,"
"continue," or the negative of such terms, or other comparable
terminology. Forward-looking statements relating to expectations
about future results or events are based upon information available
to XpresSpa Group as of today's date and are not guarantees of the
future performance of the Company, and actual results may vary
materially from the results and expectations discussed. Additional
information concerning these and other risks is contained in
XpresSpa Group’s most recently filed Annual Report on Form 10-K,
Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q and Current Reports on Form 8-K, and
other Securities and Exchange Commission filings. All subsequent
written and oral forward-looking statements concerning XpresSpa
Group, or other matters and attributable to XpresSpa Group or any
person acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their
entirety by the cautionary statements above. XpresSpa Group does
not undertake any obligation to publicly update any of these
forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances that
may arise after the date hereof.
Forward-Looking Statements of Ginkgo Bioworks
This press release contains certain
forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal
securities laws, including statements regarding the potential of
Ginkgo's biosecurity capabilities and partnership with XpresSpa
Group, Inc. These forward-looking statements generally are
identified by the words "believe," "project," "potential,"
"expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "strategy," "future,"
"opportunity," "plan," "may," "should," "will," "would," "will be,"
"will continue," "will likely result," and similar expressions.
Forward-looking statements are predictions, projections and other
statements about future events that are based on current
expectations and assumptions and, as a result, are subject to risks
and uncertainties. Many factors could cause actual future events to
differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this
document, including but not limited to: (i) the effect of the
business combination with Soaring Eagle Acquisition Corp. ("Soaring
Eagle") on Ginkgo's business relationships, performance, and
business generally, (ii) risks that the business combination
disrupts current plans of Ginkgo and potential difficulties in
Ginkgo's employee retention, (iii) the outcome of any legal
proceedings that may be instituted against Ginkgo related to its
business combination with Soaring Eagle, (iv) volatility in the
price of Ginkgo's securities now that it is a public company due to
a variety of factors, including changes in the competitive and
highly regulated industries in which Ginkgo plans to operate,
variations in performance across competitors, changes in laws and
regulations affecting Ginkgo's business and changes in the combined
capital structure, (v) the ability to implement business plans,
forecasts, and other expectations after the completion of the
business combination, and identify and realize additional
opportunities, and (vi) the risk of downturns in demand for
products using synthetic biology. The foregoing list of factors is
not exhaustive. You should carefully consider the foregoing factors
and the other risks and uncertainties described in the "Risk
Factors" section of Ginkgo's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed
with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") on
November 15, 2021 and other documents filed by Ginkgo from time to
time with the SEC. These filings identify and address other
important risks and uncertainties that could cause actual events
and results to differ materially from those contained in the
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements speak only
as of the date they are made. Readers are cautioned not to put
undue reliance on forward-looking statements, and Ginkgo assumes no
obligation and does not intend to update or revise these
forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information,
future events, or otherwise. Ginkgo does not give any assurance
that it will achieve its expectations.
XpresSpa Group Contacts: Investor
Relations:ICRRaphael Grossir@xpresspagroup.com(203) 682-8253
Media:Julie FergusonJulie@jfprmedia.com(312) 385-0098
Ginkgo Bioworks Contacts:Investor
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