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Clear Labs, Integrated DNA Technologies Expand Partnership to Include COVID-19 Testing

NEW YORK –  Clear Labs and Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT) announced on Thursday an expanded collaboration to automate and improve the accuracy of the Clear Dx SARS-CoV-2 assay.

Clear Labs' nanopore sequencing-based test for COVID-19 test can be used to diagnose infection as well as monitor mutations in the novel coronavirus, according to the firm. The assay received Emergency Use Authorization from the US Food and Drug Administration in September 2020.

"With next-generation sequencing, robotic automation, and oligos, our approach will facilitate breakthroughs that can better support the clinical market," Roman Terrill, senior VP of IDT, said in a statement. Previously, the firms had signed an oligonucleotide supply agreement for use in food safety testing.

Financial and other terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

San Carlos, California-based Clear Labs raised $18 million in strategic financing in May 2020. In 2019 it signed a distribution agreement with Oxford Nanopore Technologies.

"With the support of IDT and its targeted sequencing capabilities, we are delivering a reliable and accurate solution that leans on the power of genomics to provide more accurate answers into novel pathogens," Clear Labs Chief Commercial Officer Jeff Field said in a statement. "In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, this platform is a necessity for laboratories and public health organizations as they continue to track the spread and evolution of the virus."

IDT, a Danaher subsidiary, has also been authorized by FDA to provide reagents for coronavirus testing and partnered with Crispr-based diagnostics firm Sherlock Biosciences on coronavirus test kits in June.