BioGX, Birmingham, Ala, announced FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) submission of an extraction-free, direct sample addition RT-PCR test for detection of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA in patients suspected of covid-19. The Xfree Covid-19 Direct RT-PCR test (Xfree Covid-19) is a complete test in a single vial, lyophilized in the BioGX Sample-Ready format. The user would simply Just Add Water, the patient sample, and run the test on a validated real-time PCR instrument.

“Xfree is a breakthrough in covid-19 RT-PCR testing,” says Shazi Iqbal, PhD, CEO of BioGX. “Direct addition of patient samples without any preprocessing or extraction not only overcomes critical reagents supply issues, but also significantly shortens the results turnaround time. The fast and simple workflow is designed to help laboratories increase their testing capacity without adding expert personnel or new automation

“We believe Xfree is a game-changer,” says Michael Vickery, PhD, executive vice president and chief scientific officer of BioGX. “Xfree converts the most ubiquitous real-time PCR instruments into high throughput sample-to-answer machines—potentially augmenting the covid-19 PCR testing capacity by millions.”

Xfree Covid-19 clinical performance study by direct, extraction-free testing of 77 patient samples demonstrated 98% positive percent agreement (PPA) and 100% negative percent agreement (NPA) when compared to the highly sensitive extraction-based BD-BioGX SARS-CoV-2 BD MAX test. Comparison with extracted viral RNA using QIAamp DSP Viral RNA extraction kit demonstrated 100% PPA and 100% NPA for Xfree Covid-19. 

A single 96-well plate instrument can generate up to 1,500 test results every 24 hours, while a 384-well plate instrument can generate up to 6,000 test results. “Our current production capacity for the Xfree Covid-19 is nearly 2 million tests per week and can readily scale to 4 million per week,” says Shahin Iqbal, PhD, senior vice president of Global Operations. “With efficient and early planning, we were able to secure long-term supply of critical raw materials to avoid any potential supply disruptions.”

The Xfree Covid-19 test is validated for use on QuantStudio 5 and CFX Touch real-time PCR instruments with the most common specimen types—nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal (throat) swabs with collections in UTM, UVT, VTM and saline. In addition to extraction-free direct testing, Xfree Covid-19 is validated to test samples extracted with magnetic beads or silica column extraction methods. 

Xfree can be shipped anywhere in the world with no refrigeration required. 

For more information, visit BioGX.