January 27, 2021

Slovenia uses MultiplexDX RT-qPCR tests to monitor the prevalence of the British SARS CoV-2 variant

MultiplexDX, in collaboration with academic scientists from the Biomedical Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and Comenius University, have developed the first RT-qPCR commercial test in the world to directly detect lineage B.1.1.7 (also known as the British or UK variant). In recent days, these unique RT-qPCR tests have been used by the Slovenian government to verify the occurrence of the B.1.1.7 variant . 

Initial testing with MDX RT-qPCR tests revealed the B.1.1.7 variant is prevalent in 2% of Slovenians who tested positive for COVID-19 and were screened using our rTest COVID-19 B.1.1.7 kit. The results of this testing in Slovenia were announced on Thursday, January 27th by the Slovenian National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Nutrition.

"Cooperation with our Slovenian partners confirmed the accuracy and sensitivity of the tests, which has already been demonstrated in Slovakia, while being used by the Biomedical Center of the Slovak Academy of Sciences to verify the occurrence of B.1.1.7,"

adds Pavol Čekan, CEO of MultiplexDX.

Based on this testing round, MDX is negotiating the delivery of further tests with the Slovenian National Laboratory for Health, Environment and Nutrition.

This unique RT-PCR test, which allows the test subject to identify not only SARS-CoV-2 itself, but also the new B.1.1.7 variant, which is raising global alarm due to its capability to spread in certain situations up to 70% faster. According to the available information, the MDX test is the first test in the world that yields a positive signal to detect the B.1.1.7 variant. It does not rely on a so-called spike gene target failure that can indirectly indicate the presence of the B.1.1.7 variant, but can also signify the presence of other variants that share similar mutations with the B.1.1.7 variant.

According to P. Čekan,

"Commonly available PCR tests cannot tell if it is a British variant. They only confirm SARS-CoV-2 infection and indirectly hint at the presence of B.1.1.7, which should then be confirmed by sequencing. To our knowledge, our test is the only one in the world that will positively confirm either the British variant or, simply put, the common coronavirus in the sample”.

Conventional RT-qPCR tests determine the occurrence of lineage B.1.1.7  (the British variant) on the basis of a failed positive signal in an assay targeting the spike gene.

"However, such a strategy is not ideal, because the failure of this gene can have other causes, not only the occurrence of a British variant in the sample,"

points out P. Čekan.

Inaccurate results may adversely affect the implementation of epidemiological measures to prevent the spread of a more aggressive coronavirus variant.

About 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.

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