PerkinElmer launches kit to strengthen SARS-CoV-2 surveillance 

PerkinElmer has announced the research use only (RUO) launch of the NEXTFLEX Variant-Seq SARS-CoV-2 Kit v2 to accelerate the detection of SARS-CoV-2 variants, which will allow laboratories to increase sequencing throughput and make reliable variant identifications. 

What is NEXTFLEX?  

Using positive SARS-CoV-2 samples, the NEXTFLEX Variant-Seq SARS-CoV-2 Kit v2 detects mutations associated with all SARS-CoV-2 variants, including the latest Variant of Concern (VOC) identified by the World Health Organization, Omicron (B.1.1.529).  

This kit offers benefits to laboratories in terms of speed, scalability and cost savings by incorporating newly developed NEXTFLEX normalisation beads, which reduces turnaround time by three hours on average for 96 samples (when compared to other standard library prep kits that require quantification and normalization of individual samples before pooling). 

Additionally, the NEXTFLEX Variant-Seq SARS-CoV-2 Kit v2 uses 1,536 Unique Dual Index (UDI) barcodes to enable the sequencing of 6,000 SARS-CoV-2 libraries in one flow cell. This provides extremely high throughput and minimises per sample costs associated with sequencing. 

Official comments 

“The emergence of the Omicron variant has reaffirmed the important role that SARS-CoV-2 surveillance will play in ending the Covid-19 pandemic,” said James Atwood, General Manager of Applied Genomics at PerkinElmer. “The NEXTFLEX Variant-Seq SARS-CoV-2 Kit v2 workflow was specifically designed to meet the needs of the surveillance community by increasing speed from sample to result, increasing throughput and reducing workflow complexity.” 

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