genedrive signs distribution agreement with Beckman Coulter for COVID-19 PCR testing

genedrive plc, the near patient molecular diagnostics company, has announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences (“Beckman Coulter”) for its Genedrive® 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit. The agreement enables Beckman Coulter to sell and distribute genedrive’s high-throughput COVID-19 PCR Kit in the United States and Europe for use on upper respiratory viral samples. The agreement is the result of the collaboration agreement announced in August 2020, under which the companies worked to develop and validate a fully automated PCR process for Beckman Coulter’s Biomek automated workstation in conjunction with its RNAdvance Viral XP extraction kit.

The Genedrive® 96 SARS-CoV-2 test is ideally suited for use on the high throughput robotic Biomek i7 instrument. The ready-to-go nature of the test removes many of the fluid dispensing steps required in competitor assays, increasing the overall throughput of the Biomek compared to using a liquid reagent based test formulation. Full automation of the overall PCR workflow can allow laboratories to run large numbers of tests over extended working hours or workstation platforms. Beckman Coulter estimates that this new turnkey solution could process circa 1,000 PCR samples per Biomek workstation installed during a standard 8-hour working day, using just a 0.5 full-time-equivalent in technician time for processing.

David Budd, CEO of genedrive plc, said: “We are very pleased to have the partnership of Beckman Coulter in accessing significant COVID testing opportunities throughout the United States and Europe, where the incidence of COVID continues to escalate and the need for high throughout testing solutions remains a priority. The combination of genedrive and Beckman Coulter products and expertise provides the Company with a new, innovative, and competitive solution, and a new sales channel for the American market, which we did not have previously.

“We are very pleased to now take our initial collaboration and development agreement to the commercial stage. Beckman Coulter is an important and significant company in these core geographies, well suited to promoting, selling, and supporting our products.”

The Companies are planning commercial introduction of the Genedrive kit from mid February, following commercial and technical training of the Beckman sale and support organisations.  

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