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ATCC Partners with Global Scientific Community to Respond to the Coronavirus Pandemic

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ATCC, a biological materials management and standards organization, has announced it is expanding its support for the U.S. and international research and development communities to respond to the growing coronavirus pandemic.

Since the outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome-related coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in December 2019, ATCC has anticipated and responded to increased demands for credible coronavirus reference materials by designing and developing three new quantitative synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA constructs for use as controls in the development and running of molecular-based detection assays. These constructs are now available and one of the constructs, synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA: ORF, E, N, is compatible with WHO approved assays as well as the CDC SARS-CoV-2 Detection Assay.

“The labs that critically need standards and controls for their SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics and vaccine work are generally not labs that have biosafety level 3 capabilities, the level needed to work with the virus itself,” said Dr. Mindy Goldsborough, ATCC Chief Scientific Officer. “With our expanding line of reagents, we are providing standards that can be used in customary BSL 2 and BSL1 levels. This will increase the number of labs working towards developing test kits and vaccines to combat this pandemic.”

ATCC is also rapidly expanding its collection of coronavirus standards to include SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA and a heat-inactivated preparation from a strain recently sourced from an infected patient in Washington state (2019-nCoV/USA-WA1/2020). This strain is fully sequenced (GenBank: MN985325.1) and serves as the SARS-CoV-2 reference material for the U.S. Together with the novel synthetics, these additional reagents, which are projected to be available within the next week, will help in enabling labs to have appropriate controls for both pre- and post-clinical extraction steps thus spanning the entire diagnostics workflow.

These new reagents expand on ATCC’s existing diverse portfolio of coronavirus research materials, which includes strains and nucleic acids that can be used for inclusivity/exclusivity and represent species known to cause disease in humans and animals.

For vaccine development, ATCC has a variety of cell lines including Vero cell lines known to propagate SARS-CoV-2. Included in its portfolio of Vero cells are gene edited Vero cells which have enhanced viral growth properties and cGMP Vero cells.

“At a time when there is an unprecedented urgency to develop diagnostics and vaccines for this new global health threat, ATCC is and continues to be committed to providing the highest quality reagents to the global scientific community”, said Dr. Raymond Cypess, CEO and Chairman of ATCC.