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New COVID-19 Tech Launched in UK

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Credit: VH Bio
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In late 2020, VH Bio and Celemics formalised a new partnership after the innovative NGS target enrichment kit manufacturer chose VH Bio as their exclusive distribution partner for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

With headquarters based in Seoul, South Korea and a growing network of certified distribution partners across the world, Celemics is a global leader in DNA-based materials with their novel sequencing technologies and solutions.

As a manufacturer of hybridisation capture-based target enrichment kits for NGS applications, Celemics has secured itself as one of the frontrunners in the global genetic testing market. Founded in 2010, their panels offer industry-leading capture performance even in GC-rich and highly homologous regions.

“This is a very exciting partnership for VH Bio. Genomic technologies are transforming clinical research and routine healthcare with the facility to sequence more genes, more quickly and at ever-reducing costs. This genomic revolution is enabling patients access to the very best predictive, preventative and personalised care,” said James Briggs, VH Bio’s Molecular Biology Sales and Marketing Manager.

He adds, “The UK is already recognised as a global leader in genomics and the addition of Celemics’ target enrichment technology to our portfolio will see us make a vital contribution to the market’s growing demand for innovative and efficient Next-Generation Sequencing solutions.”

Sequencing viruses including mutations of Covid-19

One particularly relevant new product offering in the current pandemic is the Comprehensive Respiratory Virus (CRV) Panel, which is a viral NGS panel that can identify and sequence nine respiratory virus types and 39 strains, including various new mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 strain of Coronavirus.

The CRV Panel is able to accurately detect, sequence and identify prominent whole viral genomes, including coinfection possibilities such as coronavirus and influenza, at a high 1X coverage level.

Celemics Inc’s CEO, Kim Hyoki, noted that, “Compared to RT-PCR, the current standard for virus analysis, the CRV Panel is also able to accurately obtain the whole genomic sequences for several viral strains at once. It can be used in testing methodology development, vaccine discovery and infection contact tracing.”

“Designed to identify, detect and sequence each pathogen and any present mutations in a single reaction, the CRV Panel reveals information on the epidemiology and pathogenesis of viruses,” he adds.

The further range of hybridisation-based target enrichment kits being introduced to the UK market via VH Bio includes ready-to-use panels for clinical exome sequencing, BRCA 1 & 2, pan-cancer, somatic and hereditary cancers, pharmacogenomics and mtDNA sequencing as well as customised gene panels.

Celemics’ Target Enrichment Panel technology is compatible with all currently available NGS equipment, such as Illumina, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Pacific Bioscience, and MGI, and provides bioinformatics software for data analysis.