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Scalable High-Throughput COVID-19 Test Detects All Known Circulating SARS-CoV-2 Variants

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 27 Apr 2021
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Image: Scalable High-Throughput COVID-19 Test Detects All Known Circulating SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Photo courtesy of SpeeDx Pty. Ltd.)
Image: Scalable High-Throughput COVID-19 Test Detects All Known Circulating SARS-CoV-2 Variants (Photo courtesy of SpeeDx Pty. Ltd.)
A new robust design COVID-19 test performs well against all known virus variants while supporting surging demand for reliable tests.

SpeeDx Pty. Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) has received CE-IVD marking for its PlexPCR SARS-CoV-2 assay - a two gene test for the detection of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19. The high-throughput test is compatible with 96- or 384-well qPCR systems and liquid handling robotics to support a streamlined laboratory workflow and accelerate time to result.

The PlexPCR SARS-CoV-2 assay targets two highly conserved regions of the SARS-CoV-2 genome (RdRp and ORF1ab). Designed and tested against a database of over 1,000,000 sequences, the performance of the PlexPCR SARS-CoV-2 assay can detect all known circulating variants. Regular computer-based analysis is performed to ensure new, emerging variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus can be effectively detected, without the need for confirmatory testing.
The PlexPCR SARS-CoV-2 assay has compatible workflow with the PlexPCR RespiVirus test, a two-well multiplex assay for the detection of 14 targets from 11 viral respiratory-illness causing pathogens including Influenza A, Influenza B, and Respiratory Syncytial Viruses (A & B). Both respiratory tests are also compatible with the SpeeDx PlexPrep - a compact and cost-effective liquid handling system. The combination of PlexPrep robotics and automated software analysis can support a scalable workflow for throughputs of 480 to 1,920 patient samples in an 8-hour shift.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted testing laboratories throughout the world as many diagnostic supply companies have struggled to meet testing needs,” said SpeeDx CEO Colin Denver. “This has disrupted supply chains and impacted efficiency across the board. SpeeDx has the advantage of not needing to manufacture target-specific, expensive, and time-consuming testing probes. Our unique technology has allowed us to bulk produce and stockpile universal raw materials, so we are able to rapidly fulfill all our current customers’ orders while having the capacity to supply many more large-volume testing laboratories.”

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