Collaboration has been a part of daily life at HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology since it was formed more than 10 years ago. The nonprofit offers life science companies of any size access to a collaborative culture with cutting-edge research and sequencing capabilities. Lately, many of these companies have turned their efforts to slowing the spread of COVID-19.
Approximately 12 companies at HudsonAlpha are currently working on projects related to the pandemic-causing virus.
“I am in frequent contact with scientists here on the HudsonAlpha campus and we are working to find solutions for COVID-19,” said Rick Myers, HudsonAlpha president and science director. “We are fortunate to have leaders right here on our campus involved in the fight against this disease.”
Since the outset of the pandemic, the companies residing at HudsonAlpha have increased laboratory testing capacity, launched point-of-care testing diagnostics, advanced early-stage antibody treatments for immune response, provided researchers with critical reagents for COVID-19 projects and researched personal protective equipment sterilization methods for the reuse of PPE equipment.
One of these companies is Eurofins Diatherix, a diagnostic testing laboratory that released its COVID-19 panel this month and immediately began working with physicians and hospitals to test symptomatic patients. Since launching, the company has increased its testing capacity by more than 50% by increasing workforce and expanding into lab and office space at HudsonAlpha. Eurofins Diatherix recently received Emergency Use Authorization for its COVID-19 panel and has provided diagnostic test results to hundreds of thousands of people nationwide.
“We appreciate that HudsonAlpha removed many obstacles that have allowed Eurofins Diatherix to scale up capacity for large volumes of COVID-19 testing,” said Jen Cart, CEO of Eurofins Diatherix. “Their swift accommodation of our needs demonstrated the incredible support and true purpose of the HudsonAlpha’s mission for collaboration and connectivity.”
An associate company of HudsonAlpha, TransOMIC Technologies, also received a much-needed boost when it lost operation of key equipment. The vendor of reagents to researchers working on COVID-19 therapies was able to meet its delivery commitment thanks to the multiple offers of assistance from other associate companies and non-profit labs on the HudsonAlpha campus.
In addition to Eurofins Diatherix and TransOMIC Technologies, the following HudsonAlpha campus companies are working on COVID-19 projects:
- Acclinate Genetics is working with clinical trial sponsors so ensure diverse representation in therapeutic testing.
- Alimetrix is providing PCR testing to identify COVID-19 live virus.
- CFD Research’s Computational Medicine and Biology team is working on various aspects of COVID-19 respiratory viral infection, transmission, protection and treatment.
- Discovery Life Sciences is supporting the advancement of COVID-19 diagnostic testing and vaccine development by providing expert biospecimen solutions, genomic, immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry services.
- Foresight Biosciences has human cell-expressed both the receptor-biding domain of the COVID-19 spike protein and angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 for general research and commercial use.
- iCubate has provided an assay that enables large cities and small towns to offer an on-site, localized coronavirus test.
- iRepertoire has developed a technology to collect antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 and produce them in large quantities.
- Kailos has developed a saliva-based, affordable, non-invasive, routine screening of populations to identify infected individuals including those who are pre-symptomatic and asymptomatic.
- MicroArrays is manufacturing COVID-19 diagnostic assays.
- Prozone Water Products is developing a device for PPE sanitation for healthcare providers.
More than 45 bioscience companies have established a presence on HudsonAlpha’s campus. The Huntsville-based biotech campus is located within Cummings Research Park, the second largest research park in the United States.