Molecular Biology Systems (MBS), Goes, Netherlands, has announced a publication detailing the use of its revolutionary NextGenPCR endpoint thermocycler to test for SARS-CoV-2 with a one-step reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in 16 minutes.1

“We immediately started with a covid-19 diagnostic project, since we already got a NextGenPCR thermocycler for sepsis diagnostics. Using this technology, we demonstrated with clinical RNA isolates, the ability to dramatically increase SARS-CoV-2 testing throughput without a loss in sensitivity,” says Christian Kaltschmidt, PhD, of the University of Bielefeld, the senior author of the publication.

MBS has developed and released two software packages that result in a streamlined workflow from isolated nucleic acid sample to result. First, the machine’s operating system has been updated with two enabling features, onboard reverse transcription and two-step PCR. These features decrease the number of handling steps, and plate shuttling time which together result in an improved, shorter protocol. The second software package automates the measurement and analysis of endpoint fluorescence, allowing users to automate calls based on predetermined thresholds.

“After accelerating the CDC assay, we received a lot of positive feedback,” says MBS CEO and founder, Gert de Vos. “We added software, tested more WHO-recommended protocols and have collaborated with labs to deliver a demonstration of ultrafast RT-PCR for SARS-CoV-2.”

To support companies responding to covid-19, the Dutch government has awarded funds to MBS. Rosco Efraïm, Project Manager Impuls Zeeland, stated “MBS demonstrated a clear contribution to the advancement of SARS-CoV-2 testing both locally and globally, so the government awarded these funds to ensure this innovative company executes its mission.”

MBS is now collaborating with government and private testing laboratories in the United States, Europe, the Middle East, and Africa to implement this method.

For more information, visit Molecular Biology Systems.


  1. Asghari E, Hoving A, van Heijningen P, et al. Ultra-fast one-step RT-PCR protocol for the detection of SARS-CoV-2. Preprint available at medRxiv. doi: 10.1101/2020.06.25.20137398.