COVID-19 Response

We’re unlocking 1+ million COVID-19 testing capacity per day in the US alone

BillionToOne developed a novel qSanger-COVID-19 Test that is more than 30x higher throughput than existing quantitative PCR (qPCR) methods and is highly accurate and cost-effective.

Combining the unused Sanger sequencer capacity from the Human Genome project and the proprietary machine learning algorithm, BillionToOne’s qSanger-COVID-19 unlocks millions of daily testing capacity worldwide.

Test reagents will be made available in 2 weeks to clinical laboratories, pending manufacturing of kits and Emergency Use Authorization from FDA.

Why do we need 1,000,000 daily testing capacity?

As World Health Organization assistant director general Dr. Bruce Aylward pointed out, effective quarantine is essential for tackling the coronavirus and this cannot happen without extensive testing for COVID-191.

The current US testing volume across all different methods is about 100,000 per day2.

1 "WHO expert: We need more testing to beat coronavirus" New Scientist article on March 16, 2020
2 Our World in Data: Data on COVID-19 testing

We believe to end the COVID-19 crisis, 10X more testing is needed in the US and other countries.

What is limiting the testing capacity?

Virtually all the existing COVID-19 tests are qPCR based. Most qPCR instruments have low throughput (they can run 1- 48 samples at a time) and they all compete for the same reagents. The low throughput does not support the testing volume needed for COVID-19 response. The extreme surge in demand for the same reagents and instruments have caused multiple bottlenecks in the supply chain.

How is our test solving the problem?

  1. 30X higher throughput, unlocking 1+ million test per day capacity in the US alone

  2. Our method relies on a Sanger sequencing-based molecular diagnostic for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2; COVID-19).

    Sanger Sequencing is the most widely used sequencing method and was the method behind the Human Genome Project. The race to be the first to complete human genome sequencing forced the invention of high-throughput Sanger sequencers, which put the project ahead of schedule by nearly five years.

    Using the patent-pending qSanger spike-in and proprietary machine learning algorithms, BillionToOne’s COVID-19 assay takes advantage of the 30X higher throughput Sanger sequencing capacity. Each Sanger instrument can automatically perform 3,840 tests per day, and there are hundreds of instruments available from the Human Genome Project alone. It only takes 260 instruments to reach 1 million/day testing capacity.

    qSanger™️ technology unlocks >1M+ testing capacity per day by taking advantage of high-throughput Sanger sequencers developed for the Human Genome Project.

  3. Unique testing method, avoiding the supply chain bottlenecks

    qSanger-COVID-19 test uses different sets of instruments and chemicals from existing COVID-19 tests. This will enable labs to unlock a new set of unused capacity. 
  4. Extremely accurate

    BillionToOne’s qSanger-COVID-19 test sequences the virus’s genome, which makes the test extremely sensitive and specific. Our test accuracy is on par or better than other COVID-19 tests available in the market. 
  5. Distributed model, enabling testing capacity to scale up in days 

    qSanger-COVID-19 test is easily adoptable at any labs with Sanger sequencers with minimum training. Test reagents will be made available in about 2 weeks to clinical laboratories, pending manufacturing of kits and Emergency Use Authorization from FDA.

    Read Scientific Manuscript

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