Enzyme specialists from EUCODIS Bioscience and diagnostics experts from Biosynth-Carbosynth have teamed up to develop a novel diagnostic tool for the fast and reliable detection of an acute SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Based on viral enzymatic activities and a novel enzymatic bioluminescence substrate, the diagnostic test should identify active as well as asymptomatic early infections within minutes – which would be a tremendous help in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.
In an acute pandemic situation such as we are currently facing, there is an urgent need for diagnostic methods which are much faster than currently used PCR-based techniques. Although it has been shown that PCR-based diagnostics can detect an early acute infection, these have certain shortcomings such as multiple sample preparation steps and detection times of several days.
In addition, PCR-based testing can show positive results even after patients are no longer infectious, since it detects remaining non-infectious viral RNA fragments. Classical antibody-based tests on the other hand only show an immune response against the virus, making them unsuitable for the detection of an infection in the early phase.
EUCODIS Bioscience and Biosynth-Carbosynth expect their novel diagnostic tools to be a significant contribution to implement broad screening of early SARS-CoV-2 infections. If successful, it will help to rapidly isolate patients and prevent further spread of the coronavirus more effectively than current tests.
Importantly, this novel diagnostic tool is expected to be flexible enough to test for other variants of coronavirus should outbreaks of mutated or different strains occur in the future. It is envisaged that the necessary adaptation of the test can be implemented within a short period of a few weeks.
We also aim to supply the SARS-CoV-2 main protease (Mpro, 3CLpro), which is a central drug target, to interested researchers as a recombinant protein for drug screening and development. This protease which is required for processing the viral polyproteins is essential for viral replication and progression of a SARS-CoV-2 infection. It is expected to become available as soon as May through our websites.
Biosynth-Carbosynth® is the new global brand created by the merger of two key players in the fine chemicals market. The organisation has branches in Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Slovakia, the USA, China, Japan and India as well as a worldwide distribution network that reaches the entire diagnostics industry. Biosynth-Carbosynth is an innovative developer of reagents and biological active complex organic chemicals and is a world-leading expert in the field of enzyme substrates, carbohydrates and nucleoside chemistry. In recent years, Biosynth-Carbosynth has successfully introduced innovative chromogenic, fluorogenic and luminescence-based systems into the field.