Vela Diagnostics Develops PCR-based Test for Detecting Monkeypox Virus


Vela Diagnostics announced that it has developed a PCR test kit to detect the monkeypox virus (MPXV), for research use only (RUO).

The ViroKey® MPXV PCR Test allows for the prompt, in vitro detection of MPXV DNA from human skin lesion specimens. It is compatible with common real-time PCR cyclers, such as the Rotor-Gene Q and Applied Biosystems 7500 series platforms. In silico testing shows that the assay is specific for MPXV and has no cross-reactivity with other orthopoxviruses.

“We worked closely with our customers to develop a test that is specifically designed to meet their requirements, making sure that they have a monkeypox-specific assay, with maximum flexibility to choose between manual and automated workflows depending on the number of samples they receive,” said Dr Charlie Lee, Head of Research and Development at Vela Diagnostics.

The monkeypox outbreak has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO), with over 16,000 cases worldwide. The mode of transmission is thought to be close, sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. The WHO has requested for all countries to provide testing for any individuals that meet the suspected case definition, and to immediately notify it in the case of positive laboratory results.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we have worked closely with various testing labs across the globe. We responded quickly to the monkeypox epidemic by allowing research partners and laboratories to offer timely and accurate monkeypox testing,” said Sam Dajani, CEO of Vela Diagnostics and Chairman of the Board. “We have already released the first few batches of kits, and they are being evaluated by our customers globally. We are committed to increasing testing capacity of monkeypox in hopes of containing the spread of the virus.”

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