Molecular operations scaled up to ensure ongoing availability of COVID-19 test reagents

PCR Biosystems, the UK-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) expert, is continuing to scale-up operations to ensure the critical enzyme mix for COVID-19 tests remain available to the UK and global healthcare systems as demand for testing rises. To meet current and upcoming requirements and ensure supply chain security, PCR Biosystems has significantly increased – and will continue to increase – manufacture of qPCRBIO Probe 1-Step Go and all other critical reagents for rapid and sensitive RT-qPCR.

PCR Biosystems has the capacity to manufacture enough reagent daily for four million reactions – which is sufficient for millions of diagnostic tests. Alex Wilson, co-founder of PCR Biosystems, explained: “These are unprecedented times, and, as a global PCR company, we are ideally placed to support the scientific and healthcare communities in their response to COVID-19. When the enormity of COVID-19 testing requirements became apparent, we immediately started scaling up production of the critical components. We already have capacity to supply four million reactions’ worth of reagent every day – and we have the option to scale-up further if needed to ensure we can always meet global demand.”

qPCRBIO Probe 1-Step Go is a universal probe kit designed for fast and sensitive probe-based RT-qPCR. It is PCR Biosystems’s recommended product for COVID-19 diagnostic tests, supporting the detection, quantification and typing of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. All that’s required is the addition of specific primers and probes, together with the swab extract and water. qPCRBIO Probe 1-Step Go is compatible with all qPCR instruments and is engineered for use on a wide range of probe technologies including TaqMan, Scorpions and molecular beacon probes. In March 2020, PCR Biosystems introduced bulk pack sizes of this key product to support customers in high-throughput COVID-19 testing.

In the UK, public health experts have been calling for mass community testing for COVID-19 to ensure those infected strictly observe quarantine measures. In addition, it is thought that there are NHS staff currently in isolation who could return to work following a negative test result. While other nations have been testing in higher numbers, there is increasing pressure on the UK government to follow suit. Indications are that this is likely to happen over the coming weeks and it is crucial that there are adequate tests and reagents available.

Measures already implemented by PCR Biosystems will ensure it remain able to supply the healthcare system with the RT-qPCR reagents and expertise they require in the global fight against COVID-19.