Roche partners with Moderna to include Covid-19 test in vaccine trials

9 December 2020 (Last Updated December 9th, 2020 13:30)

Roche has entered a partnership with Moderna to use the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody test in research trials of the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.

Roche partners with Moderna to include Covid-19 test in vaccine trials
Biotechnology company Moderna protocol files for COVID-19 vaccinations are kept at the Research Centers of America in Hollywood, Florida. (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA / AFP) (Photo by CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images)

Roche has entered a partnership with Moderna to use the Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S antibody test in research trials of the latter’s Covid-19 vaccine, mRNA-1273.

The collaboration will support the quantitative measurement of SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. It will also help to establish a connection between protection induced by the vaccine and levels of anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) antibodies.

Moderna’s vaccine is observed to trigger antibody response to the RBD of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.

Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 S is an immunoassay for the quantitative, in vitro determination of antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in human serum and plasma. The test uses a blood sample to measure the quantity of antibodies that are needed to spike the protein of the virus.

The latest development comes after Roche received emergency use authorisation (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the antibody test.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “Roche values the collaboration with Moderna, which has already included the successful use of our qualitative Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 test, targeting the nucleocapsid protein, in an earlier part of the studies.

“We are pleased to see that our quantitative Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 S test, which targets the spike protein, is now also being used as part of the Moderna vaccine trials, which could ultimately help to end this pandemic.”

Roche’s test can quantitatively measure the levels of anti-RBD SARS-CoV-2 antibodies in vaccine trial subjects and could help to establish a correlation to disease protection.

The test could also be useful in analysing whether an individual needs revaccination or solving other clinically relevant questions.

In October, Roche launched the Elecsys SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Test to offer support to high-volume testing of suspected Covid-19 patients.