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Slovak researchers have joined forces and prepared the first Slovak IVD certified diagnostic PCR test for the detection of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19. The ESET Foundation has supported the test’s development, certification ,and production of the first 100,000 units.
The key components were developed and manufactured by MultiplexDX, which develops and manufactures innovative reagents for various molecular diagnostic methods. The Slovak PCR test has been validated in cooperation with a team of scientists from the Biomedical Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and University Science Park of the Comenius University in Bratislava in cooperation with two other Slovak companies, Lambda Life and ProScience Tech.
The test is based on the real-time RT-PCR method. The aim of this method is to specifically detect viral RNA, in this case SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA. So-called primers and probes play a key role in this test. These are short, synthetic DNAs that have the same sequence as the viral RNA, and therefore, if such a viral RNA is found in a patient sample, there is a positive signal. This is due to the fact that the primers and probes together with the enzymes cause the fluorescent dye to be released from the probe. This method is so sensitive that it can detect only a few molecules in a sample. For its application, it is necessary to know the genome of the virus, i.e., the complete RNA sequence.
"We are extremely proud to have joined forces with the best research teams in the field. We cooperated with the Biomedical Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences as well as the science park of Comenius University. I have noticed that people here are working tirelessly and diligently. They went on two shifts, they worked on weekends and on Sundays. This includes our international team at MultiplexDX. It would not have been possible without them feeling the urgency and gravity of the situation. Now the state has called on them to do something for their country. I see it happening. I also meet with other scientists and many have ideas on how to help further. They feel that Slovakia needs Slovak science at this time. I hope that this will not be forgotten after the crisis"
said Pavol Čekan, CEO of MultiplexDX.
MultiplexDX is one of the most innovative biotech corporations, created to bring its revolutionary technologies to the market of personalized molecular diagnostics. The company has representation in both U.S. and European markets. The collaborators of MultiplexDX are from the world’s most prestigious scientific organizations including the National Cancer Institute, Rockefeller University, Albert Einstein University, Vanderbilt University, Cornell University, Queens University (Canada), Hebrew University of Jerusalem (Israel), and the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine (Germany).
MultiplexDX IP-based and innovative platform merges histopathology methods, biomarker quantification, visualization and gene expression with a single-cell resolution by combining MDX proprietary visual and sequencing technologies into one diagnostic test. This cross-validation approach eliminates diagnostic errors and creates 100% precise cancer profiling for each patient which allows clinicians to suggest specific, personalized cancer treatment.