Pacific Biosciences of California said Wednesday it is working with commercial, academic and government research teams that are investigating SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic.
The highly accurate long reads produced by the company’s Single Molecule, Real-Time (SMRT) Sequencing technology can be used to resolve variants of the virus that exist within one individual or across a population of patients, which is critical to developing and maintaining effective diagnostics, vaccines and medicines.
LabCorp is actively supporting the response to COVID-19 in the United States and globally through its diagnostics and drug development businesses, launching its internally developed molecular test for COVID-19 in the U.S. on March 5, and applying its deep expertise in support of clinical studies into antivirals, vaccines and immune response modifying therapies. LabCorp will work closely with PacBio to sequence a large number of SARS-CoV-2 viruses from de-identified positive samples. LabCorp’s scientific teams will use this information to shed light on virus evolution, mutations found in different geographic regions, and implications for disease severity and outcomes, helping to support more informed patient treatment decisions.
Marcia Eisenberg, Chief Scientific Officer of LabCorp Diagnostics said that this is time to rapidly learn as much as possible about the biology of the novel coronavirus to help deal with the current pandemic and also to look ahead to future outbreaks, SMRT Sequencing will give us an accurate, high-resolution view of the pathogen. Eisenberg said that this information will be valuable to the work that is already underway on vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, and as we continue to refine our testing and develop new tests.
“The combination of LabCorp’s diagnostic and drug development expertise will allow us to approach the virus from a unique 360-degree perspective. By working closely with the PacBio team, we will gain new, deeper insights into this virus with the opportunity to deliver innovative responses,” Eisenberg said.