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Aegea, Biocept Ink Supply Agreement for Coronavirus MDx Test

NEW YORK — Biocept and Aegea Biotechnologies said on Tuesday that they have signed a supply agreement for a PCR-based SARS-CoV-2 test they codeveloped using a proprietary technology that enables viral detection and strain discrimination.

The test uses a technology called Switch-Blocker that is co-owned by the companies. Aegea holds exclusive rights in the field of infectious disease for the technology while Biocept has certain rights within the field of clinical oncology.

In August, the San Diego-based firms agreed to develop a SARS-CoV-2 test using the technology, with Biocept having the right to negotiate first for a license to commercialize the resulting assay out of its own CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited high-complexity molecular lab.

The companies said that they have now struck a deal under which Aegea will supply the SARS-CoV-2 test to Biocept for validation. Biocept intends to commercialize the assay, which can detect SARS-CoV-2 RNA and discriminate between L- and S-type strains of the virus, as a laboratory-developed test.

Specific terms of the arrangement were not disclosed.

"Several unique features of the assay could potentially aid caregivers in clinical decision-making, notably its ability to simultaneously detect the presence or absence of SARS-CoV-2 and identify variant types," Aegea Chief Business Officer Stella Sung said in a statement. "The assay is quantitative and highly sensitive, and can be adapted to detect new and future variants."