Life Technologies supports emergency screening for MERS-CoV

Life Technologies Corporation, a global biotechnology company, announced the suitability of one of its testing instruments on Wednesday for use with an assay used to detect the novel Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.

The Carlsbad, Calif.-based company's Applied Biosystems 7500 Fast Dx Real-Time PCR instrument can be used with the CDC Novel Coronavirus 2012 Real-time RT-PCR Assay. The assay received emergency use authorization for detection in patient specimens of MERS-CoV, a virus that infected 64 people since September and killed 38.

The assay is meant to quickly monitor the spread of the MERS-CoV pathogen and stop a potential pandemic. Life Technologies is supporting the global need for testing by increasing production of its reagents and shipping them to laboratories throughout the world.

"We are working continually with our partners to improve capabilities, particularly tests that work more quickly and simply on more people," Mark Stevenson, the president and COO of Life Technologies, said. "Our technology aids public health labs around the globe to identify threats and develop rapid detection kits."

Life Technologies said the assay can also be performed with the company's SuperScript III One-Step qRT-PCR reagent kit.

The assay was authorized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as part of an emergency use authorization by qualified laboratories, but it is not cleared or approved for general use.