Clear Labs’ Real-Time Technology Solution Supports Half of U.S. Public Health Labs in Identifying SARS-CoV-2 Variants

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Leader in Automated Next-Generation Sequencing Solutions Provides Rapid Detection of COVID-19 Variants for More than 50% of State Public Health Labs

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The continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 mutations has demonstrated the importance of being vigilant in utilizing more comprehensive testing and genomic surveillance methods to better understand COVID-19 and its many variants

The pandemic still "has a long way to go," according to the World Health Organization (WHO). And experts now believe the virus will never go away entirely and will continue to evolve and create new waves of infection. To improve surveillance of COVID-19, public health organizations, reference labs, hospitals and epidemiologists are adopting innovative technologies to more easily identify and understand the evolving virus and its mutations.

As a result, Clear Labs, the leader in fully automated, next-generation sequencing (NGS) for turnkey genomic surveillance and diagnostics, is announcing explosive growth led by its ability to determine the nature of virus transmission, differentiate viral strains, and monitor mutations and new variants. The Clear Labs Clear Dx™platform is now being used by more than 50 percent of all state U.S. public health laboratories to perform whole genome sequencing (WGS) of SARS-CoV-2 for near real-time genomic surveillance of variants.

“The continued evolution of SARS-CoV-2 mutations has demonstrated the importance of being vigilant in utilizing more comprehensive testing and genomic surveillance methods to better understand COVID-19 and its many variants,” said Sasan Amini, co-founder and CEO of Clear Labs. “The adoption of ClearDx by so many public health labs across the country is proof that our platform is a critical component of managing this pandemic, as we’ve focused on delivering a decentralized, remotely deployed turnkey solution for next-generation sequencing that provides near real-time variant detection and analysis very quickly. The public health community is in a battle like none they’ve ever seen and their willingness to innovate shows the commitment to improving the way this pandemic and future pandemics are managed.”

Among the public health labs leveraging ClearDx is the University of Nebraska Medical Center, which deployed the platform in April 2020 to gain a deeper understanding of SARS-CoV-2, as well as better trace the evolution of the virus. UNMC is now conducting sequencing daily and was the first lab in the state to detect nearly every new variant – from Alpha to Delta to Omicron.

“ClearDx enables our lab to fully automate the sequencing process and expedite turnaround time to characterize new and emerging variants more quickly and determine the nature and severity of specific outbreaks,” said Baha Abdalhamid, MD, PhD, D (ABMM), Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology and Microbiology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. “Our adoption of Clear Labs and its turnkey approach to next-generation sequencing is helping us better serve the residents of Nebraska, while ensuring our public health system has access to innovative technology that can help identify and manage future health events.”

The Sonoma County Department of Health Services tapped Clear Labs in July of 2021 to automate the process for sequencing COVID-19 samples to more quickly identify new variants, while easing the massive workload on their laboratory staff.

“With Clear Labs, the process is hands-off, freeing the lab team to engage in other work. Because we have deeper insights into the SARS-CoV-2 virus, we can track what is happening locally compared to other areas in our region and state - for example, we knew immediately when Omicron appeared in our area,” said Rachel Rees, DrPH, PHM, PHLD (ABB), Director of Laboratory Services, at Sonoma County Department of Health. “We hope the lessons learned about testing during the pandemic is a bridge to a future of having an ongoing sequencing program in our lab, so we can better support public health surveillance for all pathogens.”

“As a public health laboratory, we are time crunched – especially in the midst of an outbreak – and there is urgency to analyze samples and share the test results with clients, contact tracers and our communicable disease experts,” said Dr. Sanjib Bhattacharyya, Laboratory Director, Special Deputy Health Commissioner at the City of Milwaukee Health Department Laboratory, a ClearDx user since October 2021. “Clear Labs streamlines the sequencing process and also reduces potential human error and supply costs, all while expediting results. In addition to enhancing our genomic surveillance in Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin, we were also able to track the emergence of new variants, like Delta and Omicron - and were the first lab in the state to detect the Omicron sub-variant, BA.2.”

Clear Labs secured $60MM as part of an oversubscribed Series C financing last year to help accelerate adoption of its ground-breaking platform, while keeping up with the increased demand for more comprehensive pathogen testing. With its rapid WGS workflow solution, Clear Dx can determine the complete RNA sequence of a genome in less than 24 hours.

In addition to its diagnostic solutions, Clear Labs is widely recognized as the pioneer in food safety for Listeria and Salmonella detection. The Clear Safety platform leverages the power of its automated and intelligent next-generation sequencing platform to substitute PCR, culturing, and antigen-based tests to validate not only whether a pathogen is present or absent, but also offers other actionable insights around the detected pathogen including the serotype or its relatedness to past occurrences.

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About Clear Labs
Clear Labs harnesses the power of next-generation sequencing (NGS) to simplify complex diagnostics for clinical and applied markets. By creating a fully automated platform that brings together DNA sequencing, robotics and cloud-based analytics, Clear Labs democratizes genomics applications to deliver increased clarity. Clear Labs’ turnkey platform accelerates outcomes and improves accuracy - from foodborne pathogens to infectious diseases, including SARS-CoV-2. With a novel approach, Clear Labs is helping the world better understand, track and mitigate tomorrow’s novel pathogens.

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