GenMark ePlex RP2 Panel Predicted to Detect Known SARS-CoV-2 Variants Currently in Circulation Based on in silico Analysis
CARLSBAD, Calif., Feb. 22, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GenMark Diagnostics, Inc. (NASDAQ: GNMK), a leading provider of automated, multiplex molecular diagnostic testing systems, today announced that
its ePlex Respiratory Pathogen Panel 2 (RP2) is predicted to detect known SARS-CoV-2 variants currently in circulation.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, GenMark is routinely monitoring publicly available databases for new SARS-CoV-2 strains and variants and conducting bioinformatic analyses to determine if the mutations present in the viral genome would impact detection of these variants on the ePlex RP2 Panel. The recently identified SARS-CoV-2 variant strains include multiple mutations with the majority occurring in the spike protein, or S gene region and additional mutations found in the nucleoprotein region, or N gene. The ePlex RP2 Panel targets two unique regions of the N gene; the currently identified N gene mutations for the variants listed above are found outside of the sequence region targeted by the SARS-CoV-2 assays on the ePlex RP2 Panel and therefore the following variant strains currently in circulation are predicted to be detected based on the in silico analysis: B.1.1.7 (UK), B.1.351 (South Africa) , P.1 (Brazil), COH.20G/677H and COH.20G/501Y (Ohio, USA) and B.1.429 (California, USA). GenMark will continue to update the list of variants detected by the ePlex RP2 Panel. For the most up-to date information on the SARS-CoV-2 variants detected, please visit: https://gnmk.info/SARSCoV2-Variants
The U.S. ranks 43rd in the world in sequencing of positive SARS-CoV-2 viral samples. To address this challenge, the Tracking COVID Variants Act was recently introduced with a goal to significantly boost funding and support for advanced molecular detection technologies at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide robust genetic surveillance and sequencing activities for SARS-CoV-2 variants. GenMark joined with other members of the American Society for Microbiolgy Corporate Council in supporting this important effort to boost our nation’s genomic surveillance and sequencing capacity by signing a stakeholder letter, expressing support for the bill. Specifically, the proposed bill authorizes up to $1.75 billion in emergency supplemental funding for the CDC. For more information on this important initiative: https://asm.org/Articles/Policy/2021/Feb-21/ASM-Hails-Congressional-Pr ...