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New Promega XpressAmp Direct Amplification Reagents Allow COVID-19 Testing Labs to Skip RNA Extraction

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 03 Sep 2020
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Laboratories testing for COVID-19 can now skip the potentially bottlenecked RNA extraction step of the workflow and move directly to polymerase chain reaction (PCR) amplification by using Promega Corporation’s (Madison, WI, USA) new XpressAmp Direct Amplification Reagents which facilitate RNA extraction-free sample preparation that is automation-friendly.

Promega, a global manufacturer of reagents, assays and benchtop instruments essential for COVID-19 research, drug development and diagnostic testing, including RNA extraction, has provided enough reagents and enzymes to enable testing an estimated 350.5 million samples for SARS-CoV-2 worldwide since January. The company components currently support approximately 29 COVID-19 test kits around the world. The Promega GoTaq Probe 1-Step RT-qPCR System, the Maxwell RSC 48 Instrument and the Maxwell RSC Viral Total Nucleic Acid Purification Kit are all authorized products in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2019-Novel Coronavirus Real-Time RT-PCR Diagnostic Panel for emergency use.

Promega has developed a direct amplification method that simplifies and accelerates time to qPCR results. The simple, direct amplification workflow involves: Collect and store sample – use common nasopharyngeal swabs in transport media; Lyse sample – mix sample and XpressAmp Lysis Buffer (1:1) and incubate for 10 minutes at room temperature; and Amplify and analyze – add lysed sample to RT-qPCR containing XpressAmp Solution. XpressAmp Direct Amplification Reagents are a custom product that can be adjusted in numerous ways to suit a laboratory’s specific needs. Options include purchasing in bulk, changing the dispense size or reformatting and relabeling.

“We are constantly exploring ways to apply our scientific and manufacturing expertise to help labs address the unprecedented demands they are facing for COVID-19 testing,” said Promega Chief Medical Officer Ashley Anderson. “Offering an option to skip RNA extraction and move directly to PCR amplification not only saves time, it also addresses potential supply constraints since the many buffers and optimization reagents needed for extraction and wash steps in a typical PCR workflow are no longer needed.”

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