- The pilot aims to gain greater knowledge of analytical methods to be used extensively in the near future
- Analysis methods for both ongoing virus infection and antibody responses with methods developed by SciLifeLab
- The first 700 virus analyses showed that less than 1% were actively infected and the first 500 antibody analyses showed that 5% carried antibodies against COVID-19
May 28, 2020
Employees at Cytiva, Uppsala's largest private employer, will be tested for COVID-19 infection in collaboration with researchers at SciLifeLab as well as Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH). The collaboration is a pilot to test the assay method developed by the researchers. In addition, it provides a complementary picture of ongoing spread of COVID-19 as well as the presence of antibody responses that indicate previous infection.
Cytiva contributes with knowledge and resources for the development of logistics and sample handling. Lotta Ljungqvist, CEO of Testa Center, Cytiva, says: "We have the capacity to handle both the sampling for viruses and antibodies at Cytiva, do sample preparation in the Testa Center and handle the logistics between ourselves and the analytical lab in Stockholm."
Through a two-stage sampling of ~ 1500 people from the Uppsala site, the collaboration will contribute to the overall knowledge of the extent of the spread of infection in different parts of Swedish society. The trial period runs between May 11 and June 18.
Associates at Cytiva may participate voluntarily and are allocated time intervals to ensure social distance at the Uppsala site. Simplified mobile survey management is based on the Hope mobile app, from the company ADDI Medical. Subjects who receive negative results in the first virus test will then submit blood samples for antibody analysis within 24 hours. A laboratory-based method developed at KTH and SciLifeLab is used for the antibody assay.
The first partial result with about 700 virus assays showed that less than 1% were actively infected and the first 500 antibody assays showed that about 5% carried antibodies against COVID-19. Since the majority of those tested live in the Uppsala region, it shows that the infection is less prevalent in Uppsala than in Stockholm.
The collaboration between Cytiva, KI, KTH and SciLifeLab means that the researchers will have a better knowledge base for the large-scale tests that are expected to start shortly.
Lotta Ljungqvist says: “Our employees are both happy and grateful that we can contribute in this important scientific investigation. Our company is already working to improve access to important tools for the health care and pharmaceutical industries and our contribution will be even more evident with the participation in this project."
Cytiva is a 3.3 billion USD global life sciences leader with nearly 7000 associates operating in 40 countries dedicated to advancing and accelerating therapeutics. As a trusted partner to customers that range in scale and scope, Cytiva brings speed, efficiency and capacity to research and manufacturing workflows, enabling the development, manufacture and delivery of transformative medicines to patients. Visit www.cytiva.com for more.
Head of Communications, Cytiva