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CORONAVIRUS NEWS

Acute-phase coronavirus rapid antigen test

Now available from BioConnections, COVID-19 Ag Respi-Strip detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 antigens in a nasopharyngeal swab in 15 minutes in more than seven out of 10 patients with the high viral load (Cycle threshold [Ct] <25; an inverse measure of the target [virus] concentration) found in the acute phase of COVID-19.

Urgent research priorities for COVID-19: expert summary

The Academy of Medical Sciences and the British Society for Immunology established an expert advisory group in early April 2020. Together, the experts reviewed the limited research that is currently available and identified key research priorities.

Coronavirus antibody test: emergency authorisation

Roche has announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued an Emergency Use Authorisation (EUA) for its new Elecsys Anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, which is designed to help determine if a patient has been exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus and if the patient has developed antibodies against SARS-CoV-2.

Supporting staff, customers and local communities

CellPath is proud to supply the tools to make cancer diagnosis possible. Faced with the coronavirus outbreak, the company remains committed to supporting its customers’ crucial work. During this time, it is also necessary to protect valuable staff and the local community by ensuring the mid-Wales premises is safe for all.

First connected management system to accelerate SARS-CoV-2 testing

InterSystems, a global leader in healthcare information systems and technology solutions, has signed an agreement with Pure Health, the largest laboratory operator in the Gulf countries, to deploy InterSystems’ TrakCare Lab Enterprise (TCLE) system, the first and only laboratory business management solution, to support the UAE’s testing initiatives for SARS-CoV-2.

Patterns of common coronavirus infections could aid understanding of COVID-19

Coronavirus infections are a common cause of mild colds, infecting thousands of people every year in the UK. They mostly circulate in the winter in temperate regions where they are often referred to as ‘seasonal coronaviruses’. However, in contrast to many other infectious diseases, little is known about how often, and in whom, these viruses cause illnesses requiring medical attention. Data describing their patterns of infection are lacking because they are not tested for often.

Launch of sensitive and specific SARS-CoV-2 antibody test announced

Bio-Rad Laboratories has announced the commercial launch of its SARS-CoV-2 Total Ab test, a blood-based immunoassay kit to help determine if an individual has developed antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus associated with COVID-19 disease. Bio-Rad has applied for Emergency Use Authorisation offered by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and has met CE-mark requirements for Europe.

Supporting the national effort to fight the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus

SYNLAB is providing the NHS with 24/7 SARS-CoV-2 testing from its Taunton laboratory. Not only does this laboratory provide regional services for NHS patients and staff in Somerset, but also undertakes testing for the NHS elsewhere in the UK, helping to increase access to the much-needed coronavirus tests.

New partnership to help UCL accelerate coronavirus research

Academics at University College London (UCL) are working with Causaly to help accelerate various aspects of research into the current coronavirus pandemic, including identification of biomarkers and potential therapeutic agents. Causaly is a technology company that uses artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to read, understand and interpret vast databases of biomedical knowledge.

Donation of 100 live-cell imaging systems to assist COVID-19 researchers

CytoSMART Technologies is to donate 100 mini live-cell imaging systems to researchers in high-containment laboratories worldwide. Those working to combat COVID-19 will benefit from this initiative, as CytoSMART aims to reduce the huge workload currently facing researchers on projects vital to controlling the disease.

SiQuats destroy the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus: reporting research results

To date, only disinfectants and sanitisers containing fifth-generation silane quaternary compounds (SiQuats) have been tested against the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (pictured), and results just released show that they ‘smash’ it, according the Dr Andrew Kemp.

Whole pathogen molecular controls for SARS-CoV-2 unveiled

Whole pathogen quality controls to support accurate coronavirus testing have been developed by scientists in the UK. The molecular controls, available from global diagnostics company Randox Laboratories, are currently being used as part of a nationwide testing programme for front-line NHS workers. Available under the brand name Qnostics, the new SARS-CoV-2 controls are manufactured using whole pathogens. Therefore, they mimic the patient sample, providing the best sample matrix for laboratories.

Volunteer testing network launched to combat COVID-19

The COVID-19 Volunteer Testing Network has been launched to provide essential additional testing capacity to front-line workers. The project, started by Mike Fischer CBE, helps small laboratories convert to run critical antigen testing and identify COVID-19 cases among local healthcare workers – at no cost to government.

Test kits for the diagnosis of current and past coronavirus infections

BIOHIT Healthcare is now distributing test kits for the diagnosis of current and past SARS-CoV-2 infections to help in the fight against coronavirus in the UK. The new product line includes the MutaPLEX Coronavirus kit from Immundiagnostik (IDK) – a real-time RT-PCR assay to screen for infected individuals – and Epitope Diagnostics (EDI) immunodiagnostic tests for IgM and IgG SARS-CoV-2 antibodies, to detect past infections.

Free remote pathology solution for healthcare institutions affected by COVID-19

Cancer informatics and digital pathology solution provider Inspirata has announced a free remote pathology initiative, available to healthcare institutions looking to provide flexibility to their staff during COVID-19. In an important boost to this campaign, Inspirata is now joined by two industry partners, Hamamatsu and KiKo, Knowledge in Knowledge out. Hamamatsu will provide its high-quality research use only (RUO) Whole Slide Image (WSI) scanner, NanoZoomer, to scan glass slides submitted by institutions for research and secondary consults, but will not be used for any primary human diagnosis.

Accelerated programme to provide point-of-care molecular diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2

Sense Biodetection has announced an accelerated programme to launch the world’s first instrument-free, point-of-care molecular diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. Sense is partnering closely with Phillips-Medisize to scale-up production of its test in order to meet the growing demand for rapid diagnostics.

Revolutionary air filter created by Cambridge and Israeli scientists

A team of scientists and engineers from Cambridge, UK, and Ma’alot-Tarshiha, Israel, have developed a revolutionary new carbon-based material that captures and destroys an animal coronavirus, a close relative of the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.

State-of-the-art liquid-handling machine loaned to the COVID-19 testing effort

Sygnature Group is supporting the government’s COVID-19 testing strategy with the loan of a key piece of equipment. The machine, a Tecan Freedom EVO 100 (pictured), will be used to help automate and accelerate the analysis of samples at the first of the UK government’s new Lighthouse Labs in Milton Keynes.

Collaboration in GMP manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine

Halix has joined a consortium of partners, under the guidance of the University of Oxford, to provide GMP manufacturing services supporting the large-scale production of a COVID-19 vaccine (ChAdOx1 nCoV-19), being developed by the university’s Jenner Institute. This GMP manufacturing scale-up is taking place alongside early-phase clinical trials. The trials are crucial in testing whether or not the vaccine is proven to be effective.

CHOSOURCE: a platform for COVID-19-related therapeutics and diagnostics

Horizon Discovery Group has announced special commercial licensing terms to facilitate rapid access to its cGMP-compliant CHOSOURCE platform for the development or production of therapeutic proteins, diagnostic assay components or vaccines relating to COVID-19.

Upcoming Events

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Upcoming Events

Lab Innovations 2021

NEC, Birmingham
3-4 November 2021

IBMS Biomedical Science Congress 2022

International Convention Centre, Birmingham
14-17 March 2022

Access the latest issue of Pathology In Practice on your mobile device together with an archive of back issues.

Download the FREE Pathology In Practice app from your device's App store

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