PPD Expands Laboratory Test Portfolio for COVID-19 Therapy and Vaccine Development Programs
“PPD Laboratories is fully committed to helping our customers bring COVID-19 vaccines and therapies to fruition,” said
PPD’s new molecular assays utilize reverse transcriptase, polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), a versatile analysis technique that can aid in the diagnosis of disease and give a measure of gene expression, making it a valuable tool for viral infection studies. Specifically, these assays will detect SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, and quantify the number of infectious particles to determine viral load. These assays target spike proteins that are specific to SARS-CoV-2 and nucleocapsid proteins that are more general to the coronavirus family. The qualitative (RT-PCR) assay targets both spike and nucleocapsid proteins within open read frame 1 (ORF-1). This assay uses MS2 bacteriophage as a monitor for ribonucleic acid (RNA) purification. The quantitative RT-PCR assay (RT-qPCR) solely targets nucleocapsid proteins and utilizes human ribonuclease P (RNase P) targets as a purification control.
Two enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) have been developed specifically for vaccine trials to detect immunoglobulin G to full-length recombinant protein, one for spike and the other for nucleocapsid. These assays can be used to include or exclude subjects from vaccine trials or to monitor antibody production after vaccination. They are supported by proprietary bioinformatics tools that analyze complex data sets from these high-throughput assays.
PPD Laboratories’ test portfolio includes more than 1,500 assays, along with a variety of drug characterization methods and bioanalytical analysis tools. PPD has broad experience across viral and bacterial agents, as well as extensive expertise with multiplexed functional assays and more than 25 years of vaccine efficacy and immunogenicity experience.
PPD is a leading global contract research organization providing comprehensive, integrated drug development, laboratory and lifecycle management services. Our customers include pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device, academic and government organizations. With offices in 46 countries and more than 24,000 professionals worldwide, PPD applies innovative technologies, therapeutic expertise and a firm commitment to quality to help customers bend the cost and time curve of drug development and optimize value in delivering life-changing therapies to improve health. For more information, visit www.ppd.com.
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