EIT Health-supported Ares Genetics launches testing services for control and monitoring of COVID-19

EIT Health-supported start-up launches testing services for control and monitoring of COVID-19

Assisting in control and monitoring of the coronavirus

Ares Genetics, a participant in the EIT Health Catapult programme, has announced it will launch next-generation sequencing testing services for control and monitoring of 2019-nCoV evolution, using BGI Group reagents.

The move will bring to Europe technology that was developed to fight the coronavirus in China.

The Chinese firm BGI sequenced the genome of the new coronavirus and successfully developed a real-rime fluorescent, polymerase-chain-reaction kit for detecting the virus. The BGI Group company MGI developed a DNBSEQ-T7 sequencing platform to test for the virus. These became the first officially approved testing products in China for surveillance, discovery and identification of the coronavirus (2019-nCov).

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In Europe, BGI and MGI will work with Ares Genetics, their long-term strategic partner, to make this 2019-nCoV testing portfolio available to public health institutions and hospitals for outbreak monitoring, infection control, and epidemiology.

Ares Genetics expects to provide next-generation sequencing services for 2019-nCoV out of its NGS laboratory in Vienna, Austria, for infection control and tracking of pathogen evolution based on MGI’s DNBSEQ sequencing platform. Ares Genetics and the Curetis Group will support BGI Group in the distribution of its PCR and NGS reagent kits to molecular testing laboratories in Europe that have the capability for 2019-nCoV testing. The reagent kits are initially being marketed for research use only prior to regulatory approval in Europe.

The ARESupa test is based on the sequencing of bacterial DNA, combined with data analysis and interpretation powered by ARESdb, Ares Genetics’ unique, proprietary reference database on genetic antimicrobial resistance markers. The first generation of ARESupa is currently offered for non-diagnostic applications in epidemiology, infection control, and outbreak analysis for customers in the public health sector and the pharmaceutical industry. A laboratory-developed test (LDT) for human diagnostic use is under development.

Ares participated in the EIT Health European Health Catapult programme in 2019. They were also one of five start-ups chosen by EIT Health for a special showcase at the European Life Sciences CEO Forum.

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