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The company has expanded its laboratory test portfolio with five new molecular, serology, and functional assays for COVID-19 vaccine and therapy development programs.
PPD announced on June 25, 2020 that it has expanded its laboratory test portfolio with five new molecular, serology, and functional assays for COVID-19 vaccine and therapy development programs.
According to a company press release, the molecular assays will use reverse transcriptase, polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR), a system that helps diagnose diseases and give a measure of gene expression, to aid in detecting SARS-CoV-2 and pinpoint the number of infectious particles to determine viral load. The assays work to target spike proteins that are specific to SARS-CoV-2 and nucleocapsid proteins that are more common in the coronavirus family.
PPD has developed two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays for vaccine trials to identify immunoglobulin G to full-length recombinant protein for spike and for nucleocapsid, the press release said. The company has also created a plate-based functional assay to find anti-spike antibodies in human serum that can avoid infection by disrupting the binding of angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) to SARS-CoV-2 spike protein.
“PPD Laboratories is fully committed to helping our customers bring COVID-19 vaccines and therapies to fruition,” said Christopher Fikry, MD, executive vice-president of PPD Laboratories, in the press release. “The addition of these five assays to our test portfolio will enable us to expand our support of many important COVID-19 trials. We’ve also incorporated innovative measures so trials can start more quickly, run more efficiently, and conclude sooner.”