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Synthetic Biology Technology

Twist Bioscience unveils synthetic controls for respiratory viruses

US synthetic biology company Twist Bioscience has announced the expansion of its infectious disease product line with the addition of 16 new synthetic controls for the environmental testing, assay development, verification, and ongoing validation of diagnostic tests for a broad range of common respiratory diseases.

The San Francisco-based company offers what it describes as high-quality synthetic DNA using its silicon platform.

According to Twist Bioscience, the controls launched include an important control that detects the most virulent and prevalent mutation of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, D614G. In addition, Twist added 15 positive controls for the detection of other respiratory viruses with symptoms similar or identical to those of Covid-19 including influenza H1N1 and H3N2, influenza B, rhinovirus, enterovirus, and several human coronaviruses.

Researchers can pair all of Twist’s (@TwistBioscience) positive controls, including those launched today, with the Twist Respiratory Virus Research Panel for the detection of viruses that may cause respiratory symptoms identical to that of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19. In addition, the Twist respiratory controls can be used in qPCR and NGS-based assays serving as important negative controls in SARS-CoV-2 assays or positive controls for respiratory assays.

“As we look toward the fall, when invariably the flu, common colds and other respiratory viruses thrive, we felt it was important to launch a set of tools to differentiate respiratory viruses as many of the symptoms apply to multiple diseases,” said Emily M. Leproust, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of Twist Bioscience.

She added: “Our synthetic controls for SARS-CoV-2 have been widely used by researchers worldwide. By adding a full catalogue of respiratory virus synthetic controls, we continue to enable important research and testing to inform public health while at the same time eliminating the risk for researchers to work with live virus.”

According to the company, its Twist synthetic controls are designed based on specific viral variants, cover the full viral genomes and are sequence-verified. For customers interested in alternative variants of respiratory viruses, Twist can provide custom controls. All RNA synthetic controls are anticipated to be delivered within two weeks of ordering.

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