Biogazelle NV, a CRO specialized in RNA analytics, has announced the initiation of large-scale testing of patient samples for SARS-CoV-2. Biogazelle is providing one of the multiple testing sites in a government-led consortium of pharma, biotech, IT and academia, alongside Janssen Pharmaceutica (J&J), GSK, UCB, UgenTec, MIPS and ThermoFisher.
The Belgian government initiative is coordinated by a task force headed by federal Minister Philippe De Backer. The aim of the consortium is to ramp up SARS-CoV-2 testing in Belgium, in order to respond to the challenges posed by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. Since its involvement in the initiative, Biogazelle has developed and validated a high-throughput and scalable RT-qPCR workflow for sensitive detection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The company has started the test rollout with the support of Ghent University, Ghent University Hospital and VIB.
According to Prof. Jo Vandesompele, CSO of Biogazelle: "Our unique skill sets and expertise around qPCR quantification of RNA, in an accredited lab backed by a successful track record of applying this expertise in diagnostic test development in clinical trials, enabled us to contribute the right expertise at the right time. I would like to thank all the other members of the consortium for the seamless collaboration since the start of this ambitious project, less than 2 weeks ago."
I am immensely proud of the Biogazelle staff who worked tirelessly to successfully deliver on such a critical project for public health in Belgium. Our role hasn't finished though, as we are ramping up our capabilities to deliver the much-needed patient testing for as long as required. At the same time, we remain committed to supporting our existing pharma customers in their efforts to develop new therapeutics and diagnostics."
Mieke van Acker, CEO of Biogazelle