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Ralf Griebel, Head of the Partnering Business Division
The emergence and outbreak of the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 at the end of 2019 has created an urgent need for testing to help limit the spread of COVID-19. AusDiagnostics has used its patented, multiplexed-tandem PCR technology to develop a test to detect SARS-CoV-2 and distinguish between the different causes of coronavirus-like infections.
The COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe has highlighted the need for the rapid development of new diagnostic tests, therapeutics and vaccines in response to emerging infectious diseases. Advanced gene assembly techniques represent a powerful tool to aid these efforts, and are currently allowing the construction of synthetic SARS-CoV-2 genomes for research and development activities. Codex DNA is at the forefront of this approach, using its knowhow and BioXp™ 3200 system to supply labs across the globe with the gene constructs required to accelerate the design and optimization of vaccines and treatments.
Spanish company Advanced Wave Sensors (AWSensors) is playing a key role in the pan-European Horizon 2020 LiqBiopSens and Catch-U-DNA projects to develop a new liquid biopsy platform for the early detection of colorectal and lung cancers. An important part of this process was the creation of a liquid handling platform incorporating an acoustic wave sensor array and microfluidic technology for the analysis of biomarkers in blood.
Next generation sequencing is now in widespread use throughout the life sciences sector, but the commonly used short-read sequencing methods are often subject to GC base pair bias. Combined with the inherent mapping ambiguity of the short reads, this often results in fragmented genome assemblies, creating a demand for technologies offering longer reads that simplify analysis and yield more complete sequences. Using its proprietary technology, Pacific Biosciences is able to offer longer reads, more uniform coverage and high accuracy, supporting advanced genomics, full-length transcript sequencing and epigenetics.
Ion channels regulate many physiological processes, as well as playing a role in many diseases, making them a target for 20 percent of registered drugs. Patch clamping remains the gold standard assay for investigating ion channels, but the manual technique requires patience, and extensive training, and has a low throughput, resulting in ion channels remaining poorly understood.