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ABL Collaborates with Hong Kong Universities to Develop NGS-based TB Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Advanced Biological Laboratories, the University of Hong Kong, and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University today said they will collaborate to develop a next-generation sequencing-based tuberculosis assay and bioinformatics pipeline.

The goal of the collaboration is to enable early and improved diagnosis of TB.

The University of Hong Kong will provide data and knowledge, while the Hong Kong Polytechnic University will provide sequencing capabilities. The assay will be used in combination with ABL's DeepChek software, which ABL will optimize for the TB assay with whole-genome sequencing analysis and other TB specificities.

The groups will validate the assay with retrospective and prospective clinical specimens. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"TB is fatal in one in 20 cases," ABL CEO C.B. Sayada said in statement, adding that "early detection and appropriate treatment are key to stopping the spread of TB."

Developing and evaluating novel molecular tests for rapid pathogen identification and drug resistance detection, especially in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, is a major research initiative at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University, assistant professor Siu K.H. Gilman added.

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