Ethos Laboratories and Agena BioSciences Announce Strategic Partnership to Streamline SARS-CoV-2 Variant Detection
NEWPORT, Ky., April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Ethos Laboratories®, a national leader in laboratory testing, has announced a strategic partnership with Agena® Biosciences which will leverage Agena's innovative MassARRAY MALDI-TOF platform for high throughput SARS-CoV-2 variant detection. Next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies have traditionally been employed for variant detection but due to high cost, low sample throughput and the need for extensive bioinformatics, these platforms are not well suited to high throughput testing. Given these shortcomings, scientific leadership at Ethos Laboratories began the search for alternative technologies that would facilitate high throughput variant detection that would fit with standard laboratory workflows, minimize cost, and ensure rapid testing turnaround times. After extensive review of available technologies, Ethos Laboratories selected the MassARRAY SARS-CoV-2 Variant Panel developed by Agena Biosciences which offers a low-cost, high-throughput and rapid solution for the detection of 20 unique SARS-CoV-2 genetic markers. All genetic markers in the Agena panel are spike protein mutations of concern and facilitate the detection of the SARS-CoV-2 Wuhan, UK, South African, Brazil, Cluster 5 Mink and D614G variants.
Agena's MassARRAY technology will allow Ethos Laboratories to:
Ethos Laboratories is now offering the option of variant ID for any positive samples processed at their clinical laboratory in Newport and the partnership with Agena will ensure that newly identified variants will be rapidly added to the test offering as they emerge.
"Our strategic partnership with Agena stems from the mutual understanding that NGS technologies, while crucial for variant discovery, are not amenable to the necessary high-throughput demands of daily COVID-19 testing worldwide. Government agencies and regulatory bodies should consider innovative technologies such as the Agena MassARRAY for existing variant detection which will act to conserve NGS platforms for emerging variant discovery. We are proud to be offering the first high throughout variant detection panel to our clients nationwide." – Joshua Gunn, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer for Ethos R&D.
Peter Dansky, CEO of Agena Bioscience, acknowledged this development, "Agena is proud to work with partners such as Ethos Laboratories to offer a truly differentiated solution to address the ongoing crisis of COVID-19. As new variants of the SARS-CoV-2 virus emerge there is a need to support the increasing demand for molecular laboratories to discriminate these variants in a high-throughput, cost-effective, time-sensitive manner and we feel the MassARRAY System is the perfect tool for that."
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SOURCE Ethos Laboratories