Company News: Curetis’ Subsidiary Ares Genetics Introduces NGS Services for Pharma and Public Health Sector at Upcoming ECCMID 2019


— Strain-typing and AMR detection of clinical isolates based on ARESdb

— Set-up of own NGS service laboratory in Vienna, Austria

Ares Genetics GmbH (Ares Genetics), a Curetis Group Company (Curetis N.V.; EURONEXT: CURE), today announced the introduction of new service offerings in molecular microbiology at the upcoming 29th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases (ECCMID), which will take place in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, on April 13-16, 2019. 

From mid-2019, Ares Genetics will offer its ARESupa Universal Pathogenome Assay for whole-genome sequencing of bacterial strains isolated from clinical specimens. Applications will be in epidemiology, infection control, and outbreak analysis for customers in the public health sector and the pharmaceutical industry. Based on the genetic profile of the respective clinical isolate, ARESupa precisely identifies the bacterial strain and detects antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Ares Genetics expects that ARESupa will greatly facilitate the monitoring of AMR evolution and spreading at the molecular level and provide rapid insights into origin and dynamics of outbreaks of critical, often multi-drug resistant pathogens in hospitals and care facilities.

ARESupa combines next-generation sequencing (NGS) with data analysis and interpretation powered by ARESdb, Ares Genetics’ AI-powered reference database on the genetics of antimicrobial resistance. ARESdb currently covers detailed whole-genome sequencing data of more than 35,000 bacterial strains, including quantitative data on the resistance phenotype for more than 100 antibiotics.

ARESupa will be offered out of Ares Genetics’ NGS service laboratory currently being set up in Vienna, Austria. The NGS service laboratory will be headed by Dr. Johannes Weinberger, who recently joined Ares Genetics from the Austrian Red Cross where he set up an NGS facility for the Department of Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics. He brings about ten years of experience with NGS technologies in the public sector as well as the healthcare industry.

While ARESupa initially is offered for non-diagnostic uses in the public health sector and the pharmaceutical industry, the Company is also working on an ARESupa laboratory-developed test (LDT) for the detection of pathogens and AMR in severe hospital-acquired infections that will initially be launched for selected high-need indications that are difficult to diagnose with conventional methods.

“Already today, there is wide-spread acceptance of the benefits of NGS for AMR surveillance, pathogen epidemiology, the tracking of outbreaks as well as for antimicrobial drug development,” explained Dr. Andreas Posch, Managing Director and CEO of Ares Genetics. “Hence, launching our Universal Pathogenome Assay NGS services for isolate identification, typing and quantitative genetic AMR profiling is an important milestone in the execution of our business plan that ultimately aims at providing universal NGS-based infectious disease diagnostics,” Dr. Posch added.

“We expect that our new NGS service laboratory will greatly accelerate our projects with pharmaceutical companies such as Sandoz as well as collaborations with diagnostics industry players,” said Dr. Achim Plum, Chief Business Officer of the Curetis Group and Managing Director of Ares Genetics. “The ability to perform NGS in our own laboratory comes timely as we are in discussions with numerous companies on further projects using our expanded service offerings.”