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VH Bio offers Asuragen Armored RNA Quant® SARS-CoV-2 Control assays in UK

23 March 2020

VH Bio is supporting the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic with the addition of a new Asuragen-developed Armored RNA Quant® SARS-CoV-2 Control to its range, for use in developing assays in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK.

Since the widespread and aggressive nature of COVID-19 prompted a global effort to facilitate rapid and accurate testing for SARS-CoV-2, Asuragen has been working to develop an Armored control specific to the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to help expedite the development of tests to address the COVID-19 pandemic.

Its new Armored RNA Quant® SARS-CoV-2 Control targets the SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleocapsid (N) region and the associated RNAse P construct aligns with the CDC and WHO-recommended Diagnostic Panel (CDC-006-00019), providing a stable, reliable and safe way to rapidly test for the presence of the novel Coronavirus.

Challenges of accurate Covid-19 testing

In an article on genomeweb.com1, the need for positive reference sequences was highlighted as a critical hurdle in the implementation of accurate testing. The same article notes the challenges with a typical clinical diagnostic workflow, entailing reagents like inactivated virus or viral constructs, extraction kits and instruments, real-time PCR systems, as well as positive and negative control materials.

It says that labs with access to positive clinical specimens were able to validate far more quickly: VH Bio hopes this new control will help UK labs to overcome these obstacles.

Alison Wortley, managing director at VH Bio, said: “Everyone at VH Bio is committed to supporting the brilliant work the laboratories do in the UK and Ireland; especially in this difficult time. We would firstly like to extend our thanks to all those involved in both the testing and caring for patients affected by COVID-19.

“We are proud to represent Asuragen and their development of the SARS-CoV-2 control to help in this global identification of the COVID-19 virus.”

Matthew McManus, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Asuragen, added: “As the global healthcare community works to contain the spread of this disease, expediting the development of rapid and accurate testing is of paramount importance for laboratories everywhere.

“With our new SARS-CoV-2 Control, we are committed to supporting these efforts as we collectively work to identify – and ultimately care for – those affected with COVID-19.”

Armored controls

Armored Controls have been utilised in IVD-approved assays for more than 20 years and continue to serve as an important tool in the rapidly-evolving space of molecular diagnostics.

Armored technology encapsulates the in-vitro transcribed RNA in a protective protein coat to resist nuclease degradation, enabling its use as RNA extraction, process quality, and positive diagnostic reference controls. From feasibility to clinical use, these robust and versatile controls are beneficial across all sectors of the research and diagnostic spectrum.

You can find more information about the Armored RNA Quant® SARS-CoV-2 Control via the link or by contacting VH Bio here.

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