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Merck partners with Mammoth Bio to develop new SARS-CoV-2 test

30 October 2020 | News

Life Science business of Merck to serve as a contract manufacturer for Mammoth’s new DETECTR BOOST SARS-CoV-2 reagent kit

Image credit: Merck

Image credit: Merck

Merck has recently announced a collaboration with Mammoth Biosciences Inc. of South San Francisco, California, USA, for the development, scale-up, and commercial production of Mammoth’s CRISPR-based SARS CoV-2 diagnostic test.

Mammoth’s high-throughput systems will be compatible with both nasal swab and saliva samples and are targeting approximately 1,500 tests per 8-hour shift with minimal user interaction. Mammoth Biosciences plans to submit the assay for FDA Emergency Use Authorization later this year.

The Life Science business of Merck will serve as the contract manufacturer of the DETECTR BOOST SARS-CoV-2 Reagent Kit, which will use standard, automated liquid handling equipment to allow rapid processing of patient samples. With this new test, Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments labs in the US will be able to significantly improve the capacity to regularly perform testing. According to Mammoth, the new test is expected to use a CRISPR-based workflow that reduces the time required for testing while maintaining the gold standard accuracy of Polymerase Chain Reaction expected by lab operators.

Mammoth recently secured funding from the National Institute of Health’s RADx program to scale its CRISPR-based testing workflow. The Applied Solutions business unit, part of the Life Science business of Merck, offers a broad range of products and services for clinical and diagnostic testing laboratories as well as the food and beverage industry. It provides technologies that streamline processes, lowers costs and delivers consistent, reliable results. The production will take place at the business’ Life Science Center in St. Louis, Missouri, USA.

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