Q2 Solutions, U of Texas Medical Branch Team Up to Help Find COVID-19 Vaccines

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Q2 Solutions, a clinical trial laboratory services organization headquartered in Morrisville, has teamed up with the University of Texas Medical Branch to develop an assay for analyzing COVID-19 vaccine candidates.

An assay is an analysis done to determine the biological or pharmacological potency of a drug. It’s an essential tool for rapid development of a vaccine. Once UTMB develops a viable assay, Q2 Solutions labs will produce it for use in clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of a possible COVID-19 vaccine.

UTMB’s novel reporter COVID-19-based test may provide potential advantages over conventional vaccine effectiveness tests. It could decrease assay time from multiple days to a single day.

“This test will enable Q2 Solutions to test sera from individuals participating in vaccine clinical trials to see whether the vaccine has induced antibodies that block infection of the virus and thereby answer critical questions in the vaccine development process,” said Pei-Yong Shi, professor of human genetics at UTMB.

Current COVID-19 diagnostic tests available through governments and commercial laboratories determine whether a person is infected by the virus. The UTMB research focuses on prevention through vaccine development. It creates the technology to help determine the effectiveness of a vaccine candidate protecting a person from COVID-19.

“We are pleased to support UTMB in this important research to develop the COVID-19 assay that, once available, may help accelerate vaccine development,” said Kevin Jones, vice president and general manager of bioanalytical, ADME, and vaccine laboratories for Q2 Solutions. “We are excited to take the assay developed from this research collaboration to production in our labs and enable vaccine developers to use it for large-scale human clinical trial testing to drive toward an effective COVID-19 vaccine.”

Q2 Solutions is a joint venture of IQVIA (formerly QuintilesIMS) and Quest Diagnostics.

The University of Texas Medical Branch, a member of the Texas Medical Center, is Texas' first academic health center. Since it opened in 1891 it has grown to four campuses, four health sciences schools, four institutes for advanced study, a research enterprise that includes one of only two national laboratories dedicated to the safe study of infectious threats to human health, a Level 1 trauma center and a health system offering a full range of primary and specialized medical services throughout the Texas Gulf Coast region.

Kelly Duffort, NCBiotech Writer
Fri, 03/27/2020 - 16:04