PROCESSWEST Magazine Online

News

Microbix and B.C. company create COVID-19 test quality program


April 9, 2020  


Print this page

Microbix Biosystems Inc. and Oneworld Accuracy (1WA) have announced a strategic collaboration to provide a global external quality assessment (EQA) program to support clinically-effective COVID-19 testing.

Based in Canada, this program will be made available to all governments to underpin their public health responsibility to ensure accurate and reliable COVID-19 testing.

“This collaboration combines Microbix’s demonstrated expertise in making innovative and cross-platform EQA samples with 1WA’s leading EQA informatics and logistics expertise,” says Cameron Groome, CEO of Microbix. “1WA’s collaborative model provides this new EQA program access to more than sixty participating governments. Alongside 1WA, we’re pleased to be able to enable a global EQA program and make a significant public health contribution to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic.”

This EQA program will first be launched in Canada then, as production scales, be rolled-out worldwide – likely over the next few months. Details are available online at www.microbix.com and www.1wa.org.

Advertisment

Microbix will provide all EQA samples for this global program, including its SARS-CoV-2 quality assessment products (QAPs), branded as REDxFLOQ SARS-CoV-2 on COPAN FLOQSwabs, and as REDx Controls in liquid format.

The SARS-CoV-2 QAPs provide whole-genome workflow support that includes 100 per cent of viral genetic sequences and emulate real patient samples while being consistent, non-infectious, and stable. As such, they contain all possible nucleic-acid test (NAT) viral targets, ensuring compatibility across current and future NATs.

The SARS-CoV-2 QAPs are representative of Microbix’s established catalogue of QAPs of viral and bacterial respiratory pathogens, which have years of successful global usage and are demonstrated to work across more than 20 different widely-used test formats.

“We have already begun to assemble an international scientific advisory board to optimize the design of this vital program and analyze the resulting data sets,” says Daniel Taylor, CEO of 1WA. “We believe the program and its scientific advisory board will uniquely support public health responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. In particular, the program can be readily implemented in low- and middle-income countries where COVID-19 may have a disproportionate impact.Participating governments can be made fully operational as national EQA providers with a few days by way of online training.”

1WA will manage all informatics and logistics for this global EQA program for the current network of governments that have adopted collaborative EQA, and for further governments that need EQA to underpin the quality of their COVID-19 testing efforts.