Research & Development
Twist Bioscience Begins Shipping of Synthetic RNA Controls for UK Variant Strain of SARS-CoV-2
14 January 2021 - - US-based synthetic DNA provider Twist Bioscience Corp. (NASDAQ: TWST) has started shipping its new synthetic RNA reference controls, which includes the new variant strain of SARS-CoV-2 identified in the United Kingdom, the company said.

With this new strain (B1.1.7 lineage, variant under investigation VUI-202012/01), which contains multiple mutations in the spike protein and other areas of the viral genome, some of the RT-PCR probes used widely in COVID-19 testing no longer detect the S gene that codes for the spike protein.

This can lead to false negative test results.

In March, Twist launched synthetic SARS-CoV-2 RNA distinct reference sequences as positive controls for the development of both next-generation sequencing and reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assays to test for SARS-CoV-2.

These controls continue to be included in many different assays worldwide and can be used to determine the limit of detection, monitor day-to-day test variations and are included on the US Food and Drug Administration website as reference materials for SARS-CoV-2.

Twist has subsequently released additional SARS-CoV-2 controls to cover the evolution of the virus, and remains committed to using its DNA synthesis platform to offer valuable products that improve health and sustainability.

The Twist synthetic controls are designed based on specific SARS-CoV-2 variants, cover the full viral genome and are sequence-verified.

For customers interested in alternative variants of SARS-CoV-2, Twist can provide custom controls and offers a suite of research tools, including next-generation sequencing products for SARS-CoV-2 as well as a broad respiratory panel and the most comprehensive viral panel.

Customers purchasing synthetic controls are subject to Twist's leading biosecurity screening protocols and applicable laws and regulations.

Twist Bioscience is a leading and rapidly growing synthetic biology and genomics company that has developed a disruptive DNA synthesis platform to industrialize the engineering of biology.

The core of the platform is a proprietary technology that pioneers a new method of manufacturing synthetic DNA by "writing" DNA on a silicon chip.

Twist is leveraging its technology to manufacture a range of synthetic DNA-based products, including synthetic genes, tools for next-generation sequencing preparation, and antibody libraries for drug discovery and development.


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