Novir is an emerging diagnostic biotechnology company with an unmatched team of professionals and trusted partners delivering smart, fast and flexible testing solutions supported by reliable, cost-effective screening products and best-in-class technology.
Its goal: Deliver a safer environment by serving customers with actionable insights in uncertain times, helping them manage risk and instill confidence, comfort and trust.
Novir was born amid the pandemic.
In early 2020, COVID-19 was on the rampage across Europe, beginning to take hold in the United States, and soon to become a global pandemic. People were falling ill in alarming numbers. Too many were dying, and a problem was quickly becoming clear: a lack of testing. You can’t slow the spread of the coronavirus until you know where it is, and where it has been. You need comprehensive testing to keep people safe, make informed decisions, and to eventually reopen, stay open, safely.
Alexander Kempe, an ex-GE Healthcare executive turned investor and entrepreneur (through his venture firm, 37celsius Capital Partners), felt this deeply, personally, and professionally. His family, friends and colleagues from his native Sweden were scared, and feeling the effects of the pandemic like millions of others.
Novir was launched on April 9, 2020, with a vision of making reliable and inexpensive COVID-19 screening tests available to anyone anywhere with immediate results for quick action, displacing the current expensive lab tests fraught with lead time and capacity constraints. Partnerships with Swedish company Noviral and Milwaukee-based MPE-INC would spur the development and manufacturing of Novir’s own products.
Kempe sought to find the right talent to realize the vision and began to mobilize a team, together with local partners. He soon found foundational partners like Peter Klug — himself with more than 25 years of global leadership experience in the health care and manufacturing industries – and together they built a team of experts in health care, medical, operations and technology to drive early growth and build out of the company.
Thanks to this industry-leading team of professionals focused on fulfilling customer needs; Novir’s global network, with access to experience in pandemic response, public health and epidemiology; and depth in technology solutions, Novir has developed and grown to what it is today.
During the pandemic, Novir is serving customers across the country in four main business segments:
- Full-service COVID-19 testing.
- Self-service testing through its INSTA OnSite platform;
- On-site vaccination clinics (in its home state of Wisconsin); and
- Production of its INSTA COVID-19 Antigen and Antibody tests.
Novir is able to address any segment and industry, from inner-city schools to the service industry to manufacturers to community pharmacies to summer camps to hotels — and countless others. It has been named a preferred school testing partner by the deparments of health in the states of Wisconsin and Colorado.
Novir’s quest to provide efficient testing at scale prompted the development of its industry-leading TRACK technology platform, which allows testing to be completed in a few minutes with results in the cloud.
Novir brings nimbleness and flexibility to reflect the dynamic nature of the pandemic — a willingness to pivot to address the changing realities of COVID-19 and deliver testing when, where and how the customer needs it, always based on scientific and clinical data from around the globe. For example, with INSTA OnSite — a remote, turnkey COVID-19 testing solution for camps, schools, and other customers — Novir sends customers equipment and tests, instructions to administer them safely, and access to its TRACK software solution, with customer support.
The Wisconsin Department of Health Services has also approved Novir as a vaccinator, and it is offering on-site vaccination clinics for customers. By providing organizations with both vaccinations and regular, low-cost testing, Novir can give organizations a fuller picture of its COVID-19 risk and help them manage it.
Novir is being recognized for its innovative spirit and first-class team.
The company won a number of awards from publications and organizations, including the top prize in Governor Evers’ 2020 Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. “We’re All Innovating” Awards. It has also been honored with a Wisconsin Innovation Award, a Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commcerce Focus on the Future Award, and Milwaukee Business Journal Tech Award. Prosper Jobs also included Novir on its list of “2022 Milwaukee Companies with the Best Benefits.”
Novir has a clear vision, strategy, and plan — and the people to deliver it.
The company has begun building a product innovation pipeline supported by technology, designed in response to customer feedback, and informed by its experienced team. In doing so, it will meet the testing needs of the future, allowing for inexpensive screening in the home for most indications, and to support managing access to safer settings, from campuses to workplaces to sports arenas, through its passport software.
In early 2021 and in partnership with Milwaukee-based MPE-INC, Novir began manufacturing its INSTA COVID-19 rapid antibody and antigen tests, and it has received the CE Mark allowing for the tests’ sale and use in Europe and other markets that accept and recognize the mark. Novir has begun clinical trials for both tests in advance of a submission to the Food and Drug Administration for Emergency Use Authorization in the United States.
Post-COVID, the company will build on its mission of early detection of life-threatening infections to focus on other viruses, diseases, or indications, like the flu, strep, cancer, STDs and GI infections, with testing increasingly being done in-home and with the support of telehealth providers.