Eurofins launches new tests and massive capacity for detecting and monitoring new variants of SARS-CoV-2
The increasing diversity of SARS-CoV-2 variants and the potential higher infectivity of some new viral strains, underline the need to identify, trace and track mutations across the complete viral genome. Currently, strains of concern include the B.1.1.7 variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, and the B.1.351 variant, first identified in South Africa.
Eurofins is pleased to announce the following initiatives to support health authorities’ variant detection and monitoring programmes:
- Increasing, to more than 5,000 full genomes per day, the capacity for its ARTIC Next Generation Sequencing (NGS)
- The launch of NovaType, a SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR assay, clinically validated for the identification of 1.1.7 and B.1.351 variants with a short turn-around time, ideal for retesting millions of positive samples to detect if the virus is the B.1.1.7 or B.1.351 variant
- NovaType is already available as a Laboratory Developed Test (LDT) in Germany and will shortly be made available to the more than 50 Eurofins laboratories worldwide testing patients for COVID-19
- NovaType is being made available to health authorities in a number of European countries for trial and potential inclusion in their monitoring programmes in response to these new variants
- The NovaType assay will also be launched as a Research Use Only (RUO) kit in Europe by the end of January 2021
As previously outlined, the Eurofins-Viracor SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR diagnostic test, has been ranked as the most sensitive out of more than 115 kits evaluated by the FDA SARS-CoV-2 Reference Panel (https://www.fda.gov/medical-devices/coronavirus-covid-19-and-medical-devices/sars-cov-2-reference-panel-comparative-data#table2c). Furthermore, this RT-PCR test maintains very high sensitivity in the detection of variants such as B.1.1.7 and B.1.351.
Through Eurofins’ current COVID-19 testing and clinical diagnostics activities globally and its partnerships with leading pharmaceutical and vaccine companies, the Group is able to closely monitor the identification of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 and intends to add new detection capabilities to NovaType as additional variants appear. Eurofins’ ability to produce and distribute primers and probes, and commercial PCR kits, additionally benefits the speed of development of new assays.