Industry News: Psomagen fills need for genomic surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 variants

22 Jun 2021


Psomagen, Inc., a US-based genetic sequencing and data analysis service provider, is collaborating with Swift Biosciences (now part of Integrated DNA Technologies), a pioneer in the development of research-use-only library preparation kits, to offer comprehensive SARS-CoV-2 variant determination using next-generation sequencing (NGS).

Early in the pandemic, public health officials recognized the need to characterize the virus that causes COVID-19. But as the virus spreads, managing the volume of patient samples slated for sequencing for surveillance research has become a challenge. 

That’s where Psomagen’s partnership with Swift comes in. 

Psomagen currently offers two EUA-approved COVID-19 diagnostics tests including SalivaDirect and the Psoma COVID-19 RT Coronavirus Test. Adding the Swift Normalase®️ Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 Panel (SNAP) has allowed them to diversify existing screening efforts to include variant profiling. 

“Our labs have scaled up and we are ready to help our peers trying to balance COVID-related sequencing with non-COVID projects,” said Ryan Kim, Chief Executive Officer at Psomagen. “Getting these samples processed quickly is important because the resulting information is helping to fight against the spread of the disease.”

Swift’s SNAP SARS-CoV-2 overlapping primers may help facilitate 99.7% coverage of the SARS-CoV-2 genome. The one-tube multiplex technology facilitates identification even in cases where a mutation occurs under a primer binding site.

“That means the data is really accurate—if there are variants from the original NCBI Reference Sequence NC_045512.2 Wuhan-Hu-1, you will see it,” said Jordan RoseFigura, Director of Manufacturing Sciences at Swift Biosciences. “That is crucial because even the slightest genetic anomaly could change the severity and transmissibility of the disease.”

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