Thermo Fisher Scientific today has launched SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program to speed up the national, multi-institutional efforts focussed on mapping Covid-19 transmission and epidemiological studies.

As part of the programme, which will available to research consortia and industry groups involved in the fight against pandemic, Thermo Fisher will offer 50 units of the Ion Torrent Genexus System at a subsidised price to support global collaborative Covid-19 research.

This programme is intended to enable fast, real-time, sequencing-data acquisition and sharing through a network of decentralised institutions.

The access to SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data will allow researchers to understand how the virus is evolving. It will also help them with contact tracing and transmission interruption initiatives, and enable them to assist vaccine development programmes.

The Genexus System is a turnkey next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution. It is designed to provide results in a day with five minutes of hands-on time in a decentralised laboratory setting.

It allows laboratories with specimen-to-report workflow to conduct infectious disease studies using minimal amounts of sample.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Life Sciences Solutions president and senior vice-president Peter Silvester said: “As we continue to support our customers by providing millions of Covid-19 tests each week, Thermo Fisher is increasing its efforts even further to accelerate the next phase of SARS-CoV-2 research with our next generation sequencing technology.

“The GlobalAccess Sequencing Program leverages our heritage of supporting infectious disease outbreaks and makes our newest platform more accessible to those who are working together around the world to help answer the important questions associated with the pandemic.”

Last month, Thermo Fisher rolled out AcroMetrix Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) RNA Control to monitor and validate Covid-19 molecular diagnostic tests.