Industry News: Thermo Fisher Scientific announces SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program

Thermo Fisher Scientific will provide 50 Ion Torrent Genexus Systems for consortia members to support global COVID-19 research

11 May 2020

To accelerate national, multi-institutional efforts focused on mapping coronavirus transmission and epidemiological studies, Thermo Fisher Scientific have announced the SARS-CoV-2 GlobalAccess Sequencing Program for research consortia and industry groups battling the spread of the pandemic globally. Under the program, the company will provide 50 units of the Ion Torrent Genexus System at a subsidized price to support global collaborative COVID-19 research.

As countries begin to reopen, the need for real-time SARS-CoV-2 sequencing data that can be quickly and easily generated and shared among partners in the scientific community is critical. Access to such data can accelerate researchers' understanding of how the virus is evolving, assist with contact tracing and transmission interruption efforts, and inform vaccine development programs. Thermo Fisher's latest sequencing innovation is primed for what research consortia are trying to accomplish: fast, real-time, sequencing-data acquisition and sharing through a network of decentralized institutions.

The Genexus System is the world's first turnkey next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution that is designed to deliver results in a day with five minutes of hands-on time in a decentralized laboratory setting. The platform's ease of use and automation has been developed to provide researchers – regardless of expertise level – access to the power of NGS technology. When combined with the Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, the platform provides laboratories with a powerful, specimen-to-report workflow to carry out infectious disease studies using minimal amounts of sample.

"Infectious disease researchers working to solve the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic are in need of automated, next-generation sequencing technology that is able to deliver results in real-time in order to combat the virus," said Dr. Carl Morrison, senior vice president of Scientific Development and Integrative Medicine at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center, who will be employing the Genexus System as part of a new precision-medicine research effort, the Western New York Immunogenomic COVID-19 Study.

"As we continue to support our customers by providing millions of COVID-19 tests each week, Thermo Fisher is increasing its efforts even further to accelerate the next phase of SARS-CoV-2 research with our next generation sequencing technology," said Peter Silvester, senior vice president and president of Life Sciences Solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific. "The Genexus System is the only platform with the speed, ease of use and automation designed to help new-to-NGS and experienced researchers across multiple sites collaborate and quickly deliver critical data for today's unprecedented research needs. The GlobalAccess Sequencing Program leverages our heritage of supporting infectious disease outbreaks and makes our newest platform more accessible to those who are working together around the world to help answer the important questions associated with the pandemic."

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