TGen, ABL to Launch Compact NGS-Based TB Diagnostic

TGen, ABL to Launch Compact NGS-Based TB Diagnostic
Credit: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health

Advanced Biological Laboratories (ABL) plans to launch a portable and affordable test for tuberculosis (TB) designed by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope, the partners said, through an expanded licensing agreement whose value was not disclosed.

Luxembourg-based ABL will manufacture, market, and distribute the compact TB diagnostic, a patented next generation sequencing-based test called DeepChek-TB. The test is designed to test for known important genes and mutations that cause resistance to anti-TB drugs.

The diagnostic is intended to help physicians determine the most appropriate TB treatment for each patient, ABL and TGen said. DeepChek-TB—which is available for research use only—emerged from years of R&D by TGen and numerous partners worldwide.

“Considering the extremely simple workflow of the solution, which does not require any library preparation, we expect a strong demand for this test from leading research facilities worldwide,” Dimitri Gonzalez, head of diagnostics at ABL, said in a statement.

ABL said the test it co-developed with TGen represents an upgraded version of DeepChek-TB that will cover additional resistance-associated mutations, and enable microbiologists to perform comprehensive susceptibility testing on a longer of drugs. The expanded drug list includes Capreomycin, Streptomycin, Quinolones, Pyrazinamide, Ethambutol, Kanamycin, and Linezolid.

ABL’s DeepChek Assay product line combines target-specific PCR reagents with in vitro diagnostic software that is designed to be compatible with either NGS or Sanger platforms for either microbiology or virology applications such as HIV, Hepatitis C, and Hepatitis. The test is designed to generate a result from a sample in approximately 30 hours for NGS, depending on the platform.

Under its licensing agreement with TGen, ABL will distribute DeepChek-TB through its worldwide network of clinicians and distributors in more than 80 countries.

“The combination of TGen’s scientific advancements and ABL’s manufacturing and distribution channels means that someday soon people most at risk, in every corner of the globe, will be able to access the most advanced TB medical information,” added David Engelthaler, Ph.D., Co-Director of TGen’s Pathogen and Microbiome Division. “The continued partnership between TGen and ABL is allowing for next generation science to be applied to patients suffering from the most important infectious disease of our time.”