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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Diagnosing Emerging Variants of SARSCoV- 2 for Effective Transmission Control

Nearly two years after the emergence of COVID-19, the rapid spread of SARS-CoV-2 still presents a major global health threat that is devastating healthcare systems around the world. Increasing evidence suggests that transmission by infected individuals that do not display symptoms (asymptomatic) and individuals who are infectious before displaying symptoms (pre-symptomatic) is driving an increase in the infection rate (R value). It is therefore essential to routinely monitor the infection status of the general population, control transmission, and enable the lifting of restrictions on daily life while COVID-19 vaccinations and novel therapeutic agents are developed and implemented.

However, the continued persistence of SARS-CoV-2 in the population has facilitated the emergence of novel variants of concern (VOCs) with evolutionary advantages that potentially decrease the effectiveness of current diagnostic platforms and vaccines, while increasing transmissibility and virulence (1-2). VOCs are identified and continually monitored by international and national organisations, such as WHO, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), and Public Health England (Table 1) (3-4).

The SARS-CoV-2 Delta variant is among the newly emerged VOCs, with clear evidence that it is more transmissible than previous variants and spreading more quickly through the population, leading to a rapid increase in infection rates. Several studies also demonstrate that Delta variant infection results in higher hospitalisation rates in unvaccinated individuals (5-7). This highlights the critical need for highly specific and sensitive rapid diagnostic tests for large-scale population screening, that are routinely validated against new variants, to limit the transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

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David Wilson is Commercial Director of Avacta’s Diagnostics division. David has over 25 years’ international experience in business development, marketing and sales management in the in vitro diagnostic medical devices industry. He is a Board member for two early-stage diagnostic businesses developing novel point-of-care diagnostic testing platforms and has served on the Executive Committee of the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association.
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ETIHAD CARGO EXPANDS OPERATIONS IN CHINA AND INDIA WITH INTRODUCTION OF SHANGHAI – CHENNAI DIRECT ROUTE

From 8 December, Etihad Cargo will offer twice weekly freighter capacity between Shanghai to Chennai. Etihad Cargo operates 79 weekly flights to India and 11 flights per week to mainland China, providing a total capacity of around 2,000 tonnes from both powerhouses. The introduction of Chennai to Etihad Cargo’s network supports India’s booming market, which has witnessed an increase in manufacturing and industrial production post-pandemic.
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White Papers

Advantages of Quantitative NMR for the Determination of Relative Response Factors

Novatia, LLC

Quantitative NMR (qNMR) is a technique that is being applied broadly and at an increasing rate in the field of pharmaceutical analysis (1). This white paper highlights the advantages of using qNMR to determine Relative Response Factors (RRFs) for pharmaceutical impurities detectable by HPLC. A single determination of RRFs using qNMR allows for simple and accurate quantitation of impurities which eliminates the need for preparation, qualification, and storage of reference standards. An example is presented here, which demonstrates quantitation of known impurities that have variable responses to UV-VIS detection, thereby providing a more accurate assessment of impurity levels than UV-VIS response alone.
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