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Twist Bioscience Corporation (Nasdaq: TWST) today announced the availability of Research-Use Only (RUO) target enrichment next-generation sequencing (NGS) panels for viral detection and characterization of samples from patients testing positive for SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes COVID-19. These panels can be used for environmental monitoring and surveillance testing, while also providing insight into full sequence information to track viral evolution and strain origin.
"By identifying the mutations that the virus accumulates as it spreads throughout the world, we can use this evolution as a ‘molecular fingerprint’ to understand the transmission of disease as well as the public health implications for preventing further spread," said Charles Chiu, M.D., Ph.D., director of the University of California, San Francisco Abbott Viral Diagnostics and Discovery Center (VDDC).
"We are committed to delivering new tools for this critical research which can inform our decisions both today and into the future," said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience. "We can write DNA at scale and will do everything in our power to provide critical elements to combat and aggressively respond to this pandemic. We encourage the entire research community to come together as a global force to fight this pandemic leveraging our individual strengths for the greater good."
Using its silicon-based DNA synthesis platform, Twist now offers a suite of research products for the study of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19. Twist is offering its newest target enrichment panel in three reaction sizes to facilitate various workflows, with synthetic double-stranded DNA probes covering the entire length of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Twist’s quality management systems for the design and manufacture of the SARS-CoV-2 Research Panels for medical device applications are ISO 13485:2016 certified.
Twist SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, 2 Reactions, Kit - SKU: 102016
Twist SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, 12 Reactions, Kit - SKU: 102017
Twist SARS-CoV-2 Research Panel, 96 Reactions, Kit - SKU: 102018
NGS for Virus Detection
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) offers high-throughput, specific identification of infections in a variety of sample types including blood, nasal swab, and feces. In the case of viral infections, however, obtaining genetic material sufficient for sequencing can be a challenge due to the extremely low levels of virus often present. In these situations, target enrichment which uses DNA-based hybridization probes to isolate specific sequences out of a mixed genomic sample can increase the sensitivity and specificity of NGS-based efforts. The Twist SARS-CoV-2 research panel provides excellent limit of detection in challenging samples due to the advanced probe design and coverage uniformity.
Additional Products for Coronavirus
In addition, on Thursday, March 12, Twist announced the availability of synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA controls that provide quality control measures for the development, verification, and validation for diagnostic tests including both next-generation sequencing (NGS) and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays; determination of the limit of detection; and monitoring of day-to-day test variations. A webinar describing the positive controls and the general needs of the research community can be found here.
The company is also synthesizing Clonal Genes and Gene Fragments that enable quick development of subunit vaccines from one or more antigen-presenting viral gene or peptide sequences, bypassing the need for scientists to handle live and potentially dangerous pathogens and eliminating the time needed to clone DNA fragments. The company remains committed to continued innovation and delivery of products to meet the evolving needs of the research community.
About Twist Bioscience Corporation
Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology. The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by "writing" DNA on a silicon chip. Twist is leveraging its unique technology to manufacture a broad range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing (NGS) preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development. Twist is also pursuing longer-term opportunities in digital data storage in DNA and biologics drug discovery. Twist makes products for use across many industries including healthcare, industrial chemicals, agriculture and academic research.
Legal Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements other than statements of historical facts contained herein, including without limitation Twist’s ability to deliver its SARS-CoV-2 panel and synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA controls to its customers, are forward-looking statements reflecting the current beliefs and expectations of management made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other important factors that may cause Twist Bioscience’s actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among others, the risks and uncertainties of the ability to attract new customers and retain and grow sales from existing customers; risks and uncertainties of rapidly changing technologies and extensive competition in synthetic biology could make the products Twist Bioscience is developing obsolete or non-competitive; uncertainties of the retention of a significant customer; risks of third party claims alleging infringement of patents and proprietary rights or seeking to invalidate Twist Bioscience’s patents or proprietary rights; and the risk that Twist Bioscience’s proprietary rights may be insufficient to protect its technologies. For a further description of the risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to Twist Bioscience’s business in general, see Twist Bioscience’s risk factors set forth in Twist Bioscience’s Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 10, 2020. Any forward-looking statements contained in this press release speak only as of the date hereof, and Twist Bioscience specifically disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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