An IQVIA and Quest Diagnostics joint venture known as Q2 Solutions, which focuses on clinical trial laboratory services, has announced a collaboration with the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) to develop a novel assay for COVID-19 tests, a key tool necessary for an ultimate vaccine. Q2 Solutions will be mobilized for the research into COVID-19 vaccines.
UTMB has developed a novel reporter COVID-19-based test which could offer some advantages such as greater sensitivity and considerable improvement in assay throughput as the assay time moves to a single day from many days.
A UTMB professor of Human Genetics, Pei-Yong Shi, reports they have “successfully produced a reported virus system engineered with either luciferase or fluorescent tags to enable quantitative determination of vaccine effectiveness.” Professor Shi continued, “This test will enable Q2 Solutions to test sera from individuals participating in vaccine clinical trials to see whether the vaccine has induced antibodies that block infection of the virus and thereby answer critical questions in the vaccine development process.”
What is different about the UTMB research?
While most present COVID-19 diagnostic tests focus on whether a person is infected by SARS-CoV-2 the UTBM research initiative centers on prevention through vaccine candidate protecting a person from COVID-19. The parties plan on jointly developing a high throughput method to measure neutralizing antibody concentrations which reflects a “gold standard method for determining vaccine effectiveness.”
Q2 Solutions All-In to the partnership
Kevin Jones, vice president and general manager, Bioanalytical, ADME and Vaccine Laboratories for Q2 Solutions, reports, “We are pleased to support UTBM in this very important research to develop the COVID-19 assay that, once available, may help accelerate vaccine development.” Jones continued, “We are excited to take the assay developed from this research collaboration to production in our own labs and enable vaccine developers to use it for large-scale human clinical trial testing to drive toward an effective COVID-19 vaccine.”
Q2 Solutions Background
Q2 Solutions is a joint venture of IQVIA (formally QuintilesIMS) and Quest Diagnostics, combining the best of each parent organization’s clinical trials laboratory services capabilities to help our customers develop drugs faster and more efficiently.
Their service offerings include leading clinical trial laboratory services with bioanalytical, genomics, vaccines, flow, cytometry, anatomic pathology, immunoassay, companion diagnostics, and central laboratory services with secure, enterprise-wide biospecimen and consent management solutions.
Human Genetics, Pei-Yong Shi, PhD
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