How Luminex Is Supporting Research Partners’ Pandemic Response
Licensed Technologies Group is finding new ways to boost partner programs
Here at Luminex, we are working on all fronts to help fight the coronavirus pandemic. The most visible activities have been the launch of new diagnostic tests—namely, the NxTAG® CoV Extended Panel and the ARIES® SARS-CoV-2 Assay—both of which received Emergency Use Authorization from the FDA and are being deployed in the field right now.
We’ve also been engaged in the coronavirus response in other ways. Our Licensed Technologies Group (LTG), which works closely with our many research partners to help develop assays and services based on xMAP® Technology, has pivoted to be more involved in coronavirus efforts. Employees in this area are used to traveling all the time to visit partners. Now, the whole team is working from home and finding new ways to help colleagues in other organizations who are involved in characterizing the COVID-19 immune response, studying disease progression, developing serology tests or vaccine candidates, and more.
“We are all scientists first and, with our research partners, we are throwing everything we have at this—from epitope masking and phage display technology to HLA analysis and cytokine storm profiling,” says Heather Darby, a Field Applications Scientist on the LTG team.
Luminex partner organizations are already making impressive strides in this work. An academic hospital in the Midwest is in the final stages of validating a four-plex serology assay that will allow testing of more than 16,000 patients per week. Other partners are using serology assays as the basis for developing antigen-based vaccines and COVID-HIG therapies.
The LTG team continues to support our partners, by:
- Increasing the time and resources we allocate to partners who can help the broadest base of COVID-19 patients as quickly as possible, especially for designing serology tests to identify people who have recovered from the virus and may safely return to work
- Driving initiatives to educate teams across Luminex on serological and bead-based applications relevant to the novel coronavirus
- Using our extensive network to connect partners with the resources they need, such as positive sera or reagents
- Reaching out more frequently to partners to check in
- Shifting Scientific and Sales Support to online and video calls
“This feels like a very personal initiative,” says Joe Balsanek, Regional Business Manager in the LTG unit, who began his career as a certified laboratory scientist before moving to the business side. “These aren’t customers as much as they are friends, family, and colleagues. In addition to supporting their pandemic efforts, we simply want to know that they’re safe and healthy.”
- xMAP® Technology for Multiplex COVID-19 Serology Assays [Webpage]
- Luminex Diagnostic COVID-19 Offerings [Webpage]
- Considerations Regarding RNA Extraction Kits for SARS-CoV-2 Detection [Blog]
- Getting Started with xMAP® Technology [Video]
- Browse 1,200+ Partner Kits with xMAP® Kit Finder [Online Tool]
- xMAP® Cookbook to Design Your Own Assays [Download]