Industry News: COVID-19 diagnostic test project supported by 4basebio receives €299,200 in funding

21 May 2020

4basebio AG has announced that the research consortium for the development of a new coronavirus diagnosis approach led by Dr. Felipe Cortés (Spanish National Cancer Research Center) and Dr. Luis Blanco (“Severo Ochoa” Molecular Biology Center), has been granted the maximum amount of funding (€ 299,200) from the “la Caixa” Banking Foundation's CaixaImpulse. The project has been selected as one of six to receive funding, from 349 high-quality applications submitted to the CaixaImpulse Express Call on COVID-19. 

This research program, as already announced by 4basebio on 22 April 2020, is intended to develop a new way of diagnosing SARS-CoV-2 based on Phi29 DNA polymerase amplification. 4basebio will supply the enzymes and technical support within this project.  

4basebio will collaborate with the research consortium through provision of its patented Phi29 DNA polymerase variants required for this project, as well as giving technical support and advice regarding the enzymes and suitable experimental conditions. If the project successfully develops an industrially scalable SARS-CoV-2 test, 4basebio will lead the commercialisation process by supplying the necessary proprietary enzymes and supporting the manufacture of the diagnostic devices to ensure the appropriate production and commercial exploitation. 

The suggested novel method is expected to have important advantages with respect to current PCR-based detection methods for SARS-CoV-2 infection:

  • No reverse transcription required
  • Performable at room temperature, bypassing the need for thermal cyclers
  • Faster and cheaper
  • Potentially increased sensitivity

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