NEW YORK – Digital care company LetsGetChecked said on Tuesday that it has partnered with the California Department of Public Health's SARS-CoV-2 Whole Genome Sequencing Initiative, or COVIDNet, to help identify and trace COVID-19 variants in the US population.
As part of the collaboration, the firm, which has headquarters in New York and Dublin, will use its CAP-accredited, CLIA-certified lab in Monrovia, California and Illumina's NovaSeq 6000 system to sequence SARS-CoV-2 samples and spot different variants of the virus.
LetsGetChecked will sequence the genomes of positive samples collected in California that were detected using its molecular coronavirus test or provided by COVIDNet. The goal is to sequence 40,000 positive samples per month.
"We congratulate LetsGetChecked on their expansion into sequencing to help the country stay ahead of emergence and spread of harmful variants," Phil Febbo, chief medical officer of Illumina, said in a statement. "This is an exciting example of innovation in response to the evolving demands of the pandemic and the need for public-private partnerships to support our incredible public health teams."
Financial details of the agreement were not disclosed.
CDPH has partnered with local public health labs, diagnostic labs, the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Invitae, the University of California, San Francisco, and the Scripps Research Institute to form COVIDNet.
Earlier this month, LetsGetChecked closed a $150 million funding round.