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Julia Karow tracks trends in next-generation sequencing for research and clinical applications for GenomeWeb. Follow her on Twitter at @Julia_Karow.
The startup wants to serve the 50 percent or so of genetic disease patients who haven't obtained a molecular diagnosis despite extensive testing.
Germany's Federal Ministry of Health issued an order last Friday making testing freely available to returning travelers within 72 hours of entering the country.
A number of diagnostic labs have considered saliva-based SARS-CoV-2 testing but decided against it, while other groups continue to pursue it.
The firm saw revenues grow 10 percent in Q2, in part driven by PCR-based COVID-19 testing, as it increased production capacity to 10 million tests per week.
Several groups are developing diagnostic viral genome sequencing assays and panels, which promise high sensitivity and additional information on viral origin and spread.
The first version of the platform, which the company submitted for Emergency Use Authorization to the US FDA last week, analyzes RNA extracted from a swab.
Assays like SwabSeq, Dx-Seq, and LAMP-Seq promise to analyze tens to hundreds of thousands of samples in parallel but might be constrained by sample availability.
Replacing nasopharyngeal swabs with saliva samples or nasal swabs could increase throughput and convenience, as well as relieve reagent and equipment shortages.
The firm is looking into options for partnerships to bring a COVID-19 serology test to market, which could leverage its large installed base of instruments.
Several labs and at least one company have been working on assays that add samples directly to the PCR reaction and don't require RNA extraction, a time-consuming step.