Helix is the first clinical lab to receive approval for a sequencing-based test for the coronavirus

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.

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