Genedrive enters partnership to target US and Europe with COVID-19 kit

Francesca Morgan
Francesca Morgan
Vox Newswire
11:41, 28th January 2021

London-listed Genedrive (GDR FOLLOW) announced that it has entered into a distribution agreement with Beckman Coulter Life Sciences ("Beckman Coulter") for its Genedrive® 96 SARS-CoV-2 Kit. 

The agreement will enable Beckman Coulter to sell and distribute GENE’s high-throughput COVID-19 PCR Kit in the US and Europe for use on upper respiratory viral samples. 

The partnership is the result of an agreement announced in August 2020, under which the companies worked to develop and validate a fully automated PCR process for Beckman’s Biomek automated workstation in conjunction with its RNAdvance Viral XP extraction kit. 

Genedrive has described its SARS-CoV-2 test as ‘ideally suited’ for use on the high throughput robotic Biomek i7 instrument due to its ready-to-go nature of the test. 

This removes many of the fluid dispensing steps required in competitor assays, increasing the throughput of the Biomek compared to using a liquid reagent-based test formulation.  

The Company said full automation of the overall PCR workflow can allow laboratories to run large numbers of tests over extended working hours or workstation platforms. 

Shares in Genedrive have more than doubled since the beginning of January 2021 to open 31.25% higher this morning at 73.5p following the announcement. 

GDR price chart

According to Beckman Coulter, it is estimated that this new turnkey solution could process around 1,000 PCR samples per Biomek workstation installed during a standard 8-hour working day, using just a 0.5 full-time-equivalent in technician time for processing. 

David Budd, CEO of genedrive said the partnership will access “significant testing opportunities” throughout both the US and Europe, “where the incidence of COVID-19 continues to escalate and the need for high throughput testing solutions remains a priority.” 

He added, “The combination of genedrive and Beckman Coulter products and expertise provides the Company with a new, innovative, and competitive solution, and a new sales channel for the American market, which we did not have previously. 

We are very pleased to now take our initial collaboration and development agreement to the commercial stage. Beckman Coulter is an important and significant company in these core geographies, well suited to promoting, selling, and supporting our products." 

The Companies are planning commercial introduction of the Genedrive kit from mid-February, following commercial and technical training of the Beckman sale and support organisations.    

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