Ann Arbor company to sell new COVID-19 test

ANN ARBOR—Officials of Swift Biosciences, a developer of gene sequencing technology, and BillionToOne, a Menlo Park, Calif. diagnostics company, announced that Swift Bioscience will be the exclusive distributor of BillionToOne’s RNA extraction-free, Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) COVID-19 Test Kit for high capacity testing of up to a million tests per day.

The test is designed to detect the virus that causes COVID-19 in respiratory specimens obtained from nasal swabs, nasopharyngeal swabs, or oropharyngeal swabs.

The BillionToOne COVID-19 test uses different sets of instruments and chemicals from existing COVID-19 tests, enabling labs to unlock a new set of unused capacity. The test sequences the virus’ genome, making the test sensitive, specific, and accurate compared to other COVID-19 tests on the market. Most notable, this test does not require RNA extraction which is costly, time-consuming, and critical supply chain demands due to flu season will not negatively affect this workflow. Additionally, the test is easily adaptable for any clinical labs with Sanger Sequencers and requires minimal training.

BillionToOne approached Swift Biosciences in April 2020 and asked for assistance to manufacture the test, and to provide quality assurance, shipping, and logistics.

“Early in the pandemic, Swift was quick to pivot and offer products for sequencing the SARS-CoV-2 genome and associated receptors like ACE2,” said Swift CEO Nathan Wood. “By including the BillionToOne’s COVID Diagnostic Test Kit into Swift’s product portfolio, it allows us the opportunity to provide the full complement of tools to assist in the fight against COVID-19 in ways that were not possible before.  Clinical laboratories can use their excess Sanger instruments to full capacity to do over 3,000 test per day per instrument.”

The BilliontoOne qSanger-COVID-19 Assay is available for immediate purchase, and shipment through for North America and Swift’s global distribution network.

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