Swift Biosciences of Ann Arbor, Mich has released a targeted gene panel that covers 100% of the SARS-CoV-2 S gene, even with limited viral titers. The Swift Normalase Amplicon SARS-CoV-2 S Gene Panel (SNAP) eliminates the need to perform qPCR for library normalization.

Known for developing DNA and RNA library preparation kits for Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) systems, Swift Biosciences developed the targeted gene panel to accelerate research into variants in the gene which encodes for the S protein. Emerging strains, identified by NGS, that contain variants in the S gene present a particularly acute need for investigation as changes in this gene can directly affect how easily new strains transmit from person-to-person. With greater than 25 million cases of covid-19 to date, the United States is ramping up NGS surveillance efforts to identify potential hot spots fueled by emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2. Sequencing the SARS Co-V-2 S gene or the entire viral genome will assist researchers in rapid development of therapeutic targets and vaccine creation. This will also guide decision-making for mitigation strategies.

“The S Gene panel allows the scientific community to rapidly scale surveillance efforts and prioritize monitoring of emerging strains that are highly infectious due to mutations which encode for the spike protein,” says Swift Biosciences Director of Manufacturing Sciences Jordan RoseFigura, PhD. “This panel was designed with redundancy in coverage to ensure that novel variants are captured. Swift Biosciences designed this panel to meet the needs of surveillance researchers around the world. This panel is compatible with all Illumina NGS systems to ensure that all NGS labs are able to begin immediately.”

The SNAP panel is the latest in Swift’s SARS CoV-2 research toolkit to study emerging strains of SARS-CoV-2. Other tools available include a targeted panel that covers the entire SARS-CoV-2 virus (SNAP SARS-CoV-2), a targeted panel for study of the ACE2 receptor (ACE2 SNAP), and a collaboration with Arbor Biosciences for hybridization-capture of the SARS-CoV-2 virus from RNA libraries. Swift Biosciences also supports covid testing with the qSanger covid-19 test kit which received an FDA emergency use authorization (EUA) in 2020. The qSanger covid-19 diagnostic test kit enables facilities to scale up to 3,000 tests per Sanger instrument per day without the need to batch samples or perform RNA extraction.

Swift was named to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) new SARS-CoV-2 Sequencing for Public Health Emergency Response, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SPHERES) national genomics consortium, which aims to coordinate SARS-CoV-2 sequencing across the nation.

For more information, visit Swift Biosciences