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Paragon Genomics CleanPlex ARS-CoV-2-Related NGS Assays

Paragon Genomics has launched four new coronavirus-related CleanPlex next generation sequencing (NGS) assays. The new panels widen the capabilities of the firm's CleanPlex SARS-CoV-2 Research and Surveillance Panel, which allows researchers to sequence the SARS-CoV-2 genome and obtain accurate nucleic acid-level information on the virus for strain typing, mutation monitoring, and other epidemiological studies.

Paragon's CleanPlex ACE2 & TMPRSS2 Panel identifies genetic mutations in patients that are related to disease susceptibility and severity. The test targets genes affecting the binding affinity and expression of angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) and transmembrane serine rotease 2 (TMPRSS2). The panel interrogates the entire coding region of ACE2 and TMPRSS2, along with more than 70 curated unique quantitative trait loci that regulate their expression. Paragon noted the panel uses CleanPlex technology's three-hour workflow to produce enriched NGS libraries for all major sequencing platforms.

Paragon's CleanPlex SARS-CoV-2 FLEX Research Panel anticipates increases in SARS-CoV-2 viral mutations and offers extra assurance that mutation detection and genome coverage remain optimal. The FLEX panel specifically focuses on variant analysis and tracking of mutations over time. The test also includes degenerate primers and human RNA primer controls for more confident negative sample calling, especially when viral copies are not present or are at extremely low counts, the firm said.

The company also launched its plated 384 Unique Dual-Indexed PCR Primers for Illumina sequencing of its CleanPlex SARS-CoV-2 NGS panels. The primers will allow additional multiplexing capability so that researchers can simultaneously run up to 3,072 CleanPlex sequencing samples on Illumina NovaSeq instruments.

In anticipation of the upcoming flu season, Paragon is also releasing an early-access edition of the CleanPlex Respiratory Research Panel, which combines assays for SARS-CoV-2, influenza A subtypes H1N1, H1N2, H3N2, and influenza B. The combination panel allows for simultaneous influenza detection with SARS-CoV-2 detection or whole-genome sequencing. The extra sensitivity and additional coverage of the multiplex PCR-based method also works for high-throughput sample pooling and screening strategies, the firm said. Paragon expects to expand the panel to include respiratory syncytial virus and possibly other respiratory viruses in the future.

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