Ann Arbor’s Swift Biosciences Releases Assay to Expedite COVID-19 Testing, Surveillance, Mitigation

Swift Biosciences Inc. in Ann Arbor has released its Swift Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Research Panel. Targeting the full viral genome in a single reaction with a two-hour workflow, the essay meets research and surveillance needs for standard samples by converting and enriching viral cDNA into NGS-ready libraries.
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Swift Biosciences has released its Swift Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Research Panel. // Stock photo

Swift Biosciences Inc. in Ann Arbor has released its Swift Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Research Panel. Targeting the full viral genome in a single reaction with a two-hour workflow, the assay meets research and surveillance needs for standard samples by converting and enriching viral cDNA into NGS-ready libraries.

“Enabling more tools for research and screening of SARS-CoV-2 is critical to the worldwide health community at this time,” says Drew McUsic, director of product management at Swift. “Swift is bringing its NGS expertise and supplier infrastructure to the fight against COVID-19, working quickly and carefully to put this kit in the hands of institutions leading efforts against the pandemic to expedite testing, surveillance, and mitigation strategies.

“The work of our valued customers and collaborators will help suppress further outbreaks and empower groups to learn more about existing and emerging strains of the novel coronavirus.”

The assay is applicable for sample testing, public health surveillance, and epidemiological studies, according to virology experts at HudsonAlpha, New York University, and the University of Washington.

As another planned release, Swift plans to launch an improved version of the assay to accommodate low viral titers found in clinical samples and support high throughput processing with its new Swift Normalase Amplicon Panel (SNAP) workflow.

Both the Swift Amplicon panel and the SNAP panel use Swift’s technology that targets and amplifies the entire 30 kb viral genome in a single tube reaction, maximizing sensitivity and specificity without increasing workflow demands. The panel’s 341 primer pairs provide coverage of 98 percent of NCBI Reference Sequence NC-045512.2 and have been screened against similar viruses and human reference sequences to minimize off target amplification from background material and provide optimal specificity.

Swift’s new SNAP workflow will offer Illumina-compatible index combinations for processing up to 384 samples per sequencing run. Swift commercializes DNA and RNA library preparation kits for Next-Generation Sequencing.

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