Swift Biosciences Enables COVID-19 Surveillance with NGS of Low Titer SARS-CoV-2 Specimens

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 28, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Swift Biosciences, Inc., a leader in commercialization of DNA and RNA library preparation kits for Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS), has announced the release of its Swift Normalase(TM) Amplicon Panel (SNAP) SARS-CoV-2 kit. Targeting the full viral genome in a single tube reaction with a rapid 2-hour workflow, Swift's assay enables research and surveillance activities by accommodating the low viral copy titers found in clinical specimens. The two-round PCR kit supports high throughput processing by converting and enriching viral cDNA into multiplexed, NGS-ready libraries.

"Our new SNAP technology leverages Swift's patented multiplex PCR approach to target and amplify the entire 30 kb viral genome in a single tube reaction, which maximizes genome coverage and yields from as few as 10 viral copies," said Drew McUsic, PhD, Swift's Director of Product Management. "Our collaborators at NYU and University of Washington have demonstrated high sensitivity and the ability to track viral mutations with an NGS workflow that doesn't substantially increase time or labor demands compared to qRT-PCR."

Department of Pathology investigators at NYU Grossman School of Medicine are using Swift's SNAP SARS-CoV-2 Kit to identify mutation profiles from specimens with qRT-PCR Ct values ranging from 16 to 42. Following presence/absence assessment using qRT-PCR, excess cDNA was used as input into the Swift SNAP workflow to establish an NGS-based mutation profile for public health surveillance.

"Swift has been a valued research partner," said Adriana Heguy, PhD, Professor of Pathology at NYU Langone Health, NYU Grossman School of Medicine, "and we look forward to working with them to continually improve the ability of amplicon-based methods to achieve greater coverage in fewer reads, which would enable us to achieve good genome coverage for low viral load samples."

Unlike competing amplicon enrichment workflows that require subsequent NGS library construction, Swift's NGS assay is a straight two-round amplicon PCR that adds adapters directly without a secondary library construction. It works with samples that fail other methods with high qRT-PCR Ct values, while providing complete genome coverage.

Swift's new SNAP workflow offers Illumina(®)-compatible index combinations for processing up to 384 samples per sequencing run and generate libraries that are flexible to conventional library quantification methods, as well as Swift Normalase to support increased throughput and scalability.

About Swift Biosciences

Swift Biosciences develops and commercializes NGS Library Preparation Kits that enable technologies for genomics, translational, and clinical research. Our proprietary technologies expand the range of sample inputs to extend the applications of next-generation sequencing (NGS). Swift Library Kits are designed to maximize data output, provide the most comprehensive coverage available on the market and reduce sequencing costs. Our products are designed to facilitate library normalization and to analyze DNA and RNA samples for applications including Liquid Biopsy (circulating, cell-free DNA), Methylation Sequencing, Whole Genome, Exome and Transcriptome Sequencing as well as Chromatin studies, from low input quantities and from Formalin-Fixed, Paraffin-Embedded samples. The mission of Swift is to provide research tools for long term improvements in the health of individuals and their communities all around the world, specifically in the fight against cancer and understanding the complexities of inherited diseases. The tools developed in our efforts are directly applicable to research in agrigenomics, biotechnology, metagenomics, and the pharmaceutical industry. For more information, visit SwiftBioSci.com and follow Swift Biosciences on Twitter (@SwiftBioSci).

Contact: Camille Cappello, cappello@swiftbio.com

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SOURCE Swift Biosciences