SEQ-IT, a leading molecular services provider, today announced they completed a novel mass spectrometry based rapid test for the detection of 20 of the most relevant SARS-CoV-2 mutations including the UK (B.1.1.7), South African and Brazilian variants. The test panel was developed using Agena Bioscience’s MassARRAY® System, a well-established tool used by clinical laboratories worldwide to deliver affordable, highly accurate genomic testing.
“SEQ-IT has been heavily involved in the COVID-19 pandemic response since its beginning. We strive to consistently adapt and improve our testing services to respond to the dynamically changing needs in this crisis. The MassARRAY® System puts us in the position to quickly and reliably test samples for the most relevant Corona variants,” said Dr. Bernhard Thiele, CEO of SEQ-IT.
Developing a test for Corona variant detection using mass spectrometry is a novel approach. It addresses several key challenges presented by the sequencing-based methods that have recently been leveraged for SARS-CoV-2 variant surveillance.
“The highly complex sequencing technology takes a lot of time and is costly – which makes it a rather inefficient tool given the current urgent need for rapid screening of known Corona variants in the population,” said SEQ-IT head of development and biologist Thomas Alef. “The MassARRAY® System is a straight-forward technology which allows us to deliver accurate results within a single day at less than half of the cost of sequencing. Also, it will enable a highly scalable and effective surveillance program in the near future.”
The high flexibility of the test allows easily extend of the Corona mutation panel to include newly emerging variants.
“New and potentially more contagious SARS-CoV-2 variants will continue to evolve,” stated Dr. Thiele.
SEQ-IT and Agena Bioscience envision to make the novel mass spectrometry approach available to other customers worldwide. Thomas Alef will be presenting more information about the panel and how to access it during a February 26th webinar hosted by GenomeWeb. To register for the webinar, please use the link provided below:
SEQ-IT is the commercial service branch of the Institute of Immunology and Genetics (‘IIG’) located in Kaiserlautern, Germany. It has a strong focus on and a longstanding expertise in research-based development of novel diagnostic tools for academic institutions and the pharmaceutical industry in Europe and overseas. The staff includes molecular biologists, bioinformaticians, virologists, human geneticists, pathologists and laboratory physicians. For more information about SEQ-IT, visit www.seqit.de.
About Agena Bioscience
Agena Bioscience develops, manufactures, and supplies genetic analysis systems and reagents, including the MassARRAY® System. The system is a highly sensitive, cost-effective, mass spectrometry-based platform for high-throughput genetic analysis and is used globally in diverse research fields such as cancer profiling for solid tumors and liquid biopsies, inherited genetic disease testing, pharmacogenetics, agricultural genomics, and clinical research. For more information about Agena, visit www.agenabio.com.