Aalto Bio Reagents today announced the availability of its new recombinant SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein (code CK 6404) for diagnostic test manufacturers, vaccine developers and researchers globally. SARS-CoV-2, or COVID-19 as it is also known, was declared a Public Health Emergency by the World Health Organisation (WHO) last month due to the unprecedented international spread of the disease. To date, around 75,000 people worldwide have been infected and over 2,000 deaths have been recorded, according to the WHO.
Coronaviruses are enveloped positive-sense RNA viruses that affect many species and have the potential to cause pandemic disease outbreaks. All viruses have Nucleocapsid (N), Spike (S), Envelope (E) and Membrane (M) structural proteins and some also encode a hemagglutinin–esterase (HE) protein. The nucleocapsid protein plays a fundamental role during virion assembly through its interactions with the viral genome and membrane protein M. It also has an essential role in enhancing the efficiency of subgenomic viral RNA transcription as well as viral replication.
“Patients are currently being screened for the virus by PCR”, said Philip Noone, CEO of Aalto Bio Reagents, “however there is an important need for serological tests as well to detect all those mild or even asymptomatic cases that may otherwise be missed. Sero-epidemiologic investigations, such as those aimed to better understand transmission characteristics and severity of COVID-19, are also essential. The medical field and diagnostic industry has an unrelenting requirement for access to the most scientifically proven raw materials in outbreak situations like this, where fast diagnosis is required. With our new SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid protein we endeavor to meet this urgent demand”.