From the San Diego Tribune by Mike Freeman
Population genomics company Helix said Monday that it has received Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for a COVID-19 test that’s based on next-generation sequencing. It is the first clinical lab to receive approval for a gene sequencing-based test for the coronavirus.
Using next-generation gene sequencing to detect COVID-19 is rare today. Most diagnostic labs process COVID-19 nasal swabs on so-called molecular PCR instruments.
These accurate machines have been used for years to detect a range of infectious diseases such as flu, hepatitis, HIV and many others. But they can only work so fast, and a surge in demand for COVID-19 testing has led to supply shortages and long delays in getting results.