Swift Biosciences introduces gene panel to detect new SARS-CoV-2 strains

28 January 2021 (Last Updated January 28th, 2021 10:54)

US company Swift Biosciences has launched Swift Normalase Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 S Gene Panel (SNAP) in an effort to accelerate the surveillance of new SARS-COV-2 strains.

Swift Biosciences introduces gene panel to detect new SARS-CoV-2 strains
The company develops DNA and RNA library preparation kits for next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems. Credit: Viktor Forgacs on Unsplash.

US company Swift Biosciences has launched Swift Normalase Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 S Gene Panel (SNAP) in an effort to accelerate the surveillance of new SARS-COV-2 strains.

The new targeted gene panel covers 100% of the SARS-CoV-2 S gene, even with limited viral titers, and eradicates the need to carry out qPCR for library normalisation.

The company develops DNA and RNA library preparation kits for next-generation sequencing (NGS) systems.

This targeted gene panel was developed to speed up research into variants in the gene that encodes for the S protein and designed to address the needs of surveillance researchers globally.

Swift Biosciences noted that with more than 25 million Covid-19 cases reported so far, the US is scaling up NGS surveillance efforts to detect possible hotspots of emerging SARS-CoV-2 strains.

SARS Co-V-2 S gene or the entire viral genome sequencing will aid researchers in developing therapeutic targets and vaccines rapidly.

Swift Biosciences Manufacturing Sciences director Dr Jordan RoseFigura said: “The S Gene panel allows the scientific community to rapidly scale surveillance efforts and prioritise monitoring of emerging strains that are highly infectious due to mutations which encode for the spike protein.

“This panel was designed with redundancy in coverage to ensure that novel variants are captured. This panel is compatible with all Illumina NGS systems to ensure that all NGS labs are able to begin immediately.”

SNAP panel is a new addition to Swift’s SARS CoV-2 research toolkit.

In addition, it has a targeted panel that covers the entire SARS-CoV-2 virus (SNAP SARS-CoV-2) for the study of the ACE2 receptor (ACE2 SNAP) and a partnership with Arbor Biosciences for hybridisation-capture of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from RNA libraries.

Furthermore, Swift received an emergency use authorisation (EUA) for the qSanger Covid-19 test kit last year.

This aids facilities to conduct up to 3,000 tests per Sanger instrument a day without requiring batching of samples or RNA extraction.