Illumina received an emergency authorization from the FDA for its COVID-19 test designed to sequence the full genome of the novel coronavirus.
Using the company’s high-throughput NovaSeq 6000 hardware, the diagnostic COVIDSeq Test is capable of processing over 3,000 samples at once, taken from nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs. Results are provided within 24 hours.
“COVIDSeq leverages the performance of [next-generation sequencing] to help address the global need for diagnostic testing to fight the COVID-19 pandemic,” Illumina CEO Francis deSouza said in a statement.
“Beyond diagnostic testing, Illumina and a number of our customers are exploring NGS-based workflows to enable high-volume screening to support a return to work and school,” deSouza said.
The test targets and amplifies 98 different segments of the SARS-CoV-2 genome, which Illumina says gives the kit high accuracy and sensitivity. COVIDSeq will first be available to a limited number of sites before expanding over the summer, the company said.
In mid-March, Illumina partnered up with metagenomics company IDbyDNA to offer new workflows focused on the coronavirus and other infectious diseases—including a co-marketing agreement for the latter’s Explify platform, which runs on the sequencing giant’s hardware.
That includes a DNA-based diagnostic that can identify over 50,000 microorganisms and 3,000 pathogens in the clinic as well as potential resistance profiles to antimicrobial drugs.