Ann Arbor biotech companies in new partnership

ANN ARBOR—Swift Biosciences and Arbor Biosciences, two Ann Arbor biotech firms, announced a partnership to offer a complete workflow for RNA-Seq library preparation and targeted enrichment of the SARS-CoV-2 genome.

An enabling offering for epidemiological research and public health surveillance, the partnership uses Swift’s patented Adaptase technology within the Swift RNA Library Kits combined with myBaits technology from Arbor Biosciences for hybridization-based target enrichment of the virus for whole genome sequencing.

“We are very pleased to partner with our local colleagues in Ann Arbor, to synergize Swift’s library prep technology with Arbor’s myBaits capture technology,” said Drew McUsic, Ph.D., Swift’s Director of Product Management. “As research and public health labs continue to study mutation profiles of the virus across thousands of collected specimens, our collaboration puts a high performing NGS workflow in their hands to efficiently prepare samples for analysis, even when heavily degraded or otherwise incompatible with PCR-based approaches.”

Hybridization-based target enrichment can retrieve target sequences that have significant genomic rearrangements or mutations relative to the reference used for probe or primer design. This allows the Swift and Arbor workflow to be robust to structural nucleotide variants segregating within the SARS-CoV-2 population.

“We have been providing the SARS-CoV-2 panel free of charge to research labs studying the evolution of the novel coronavirus and are excited to partner with Swift Biosciences on this effort,” stated Alison Devault, director of genomics at Arbor Biosciences. “Detection of viral mutations is heavily reliant on sample preparation prior to sequencing and Swift’s RNA library prep meets the sensitivity required for this virus.”

The two companies’ combined product offering includes modules for RNA fragmentation and reverse transcription, library preparation and amplification, indexed adapters, capture probes, blockers, and wash buffers for SARS-CoV-2 enrichment. Customers in North America may purchase the full set of reagents directly from either Swift or from Arbor Biosciences.

Swift Biosciences products expand the range of sample inputs to broaden applications of next-generation sequencing, enabling new applications in multiple industries, including agrigenomics, pharmaceutical, academic, biotechnology, and oncology research fields. For more information, visit

Arbor Biosciences, a unit of Osaka, Japan-based Daicel Corp., is a development and manufacturing company that offers DNA and RNA synthesis and synthetic biology to researchers. For more information, visit

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