US based diagnostic laboratory Eurofins Viracor and Cornell University have signed an exclusive agreement to commercialise novel assays to detect organ and tissue damage in transplant and Covid-19 patients.

The agreement will give healthcare professional access to new technologies like blood and urine-based cell-free DNA detection methods to identify infection, rejection, and severity of organ damage in transplant and COVID-19 patients.

The Cornell University team in the leadership of Dr. Iwijn De Vlaminck, who is an associate professor at the Meinig School of Biomedical Engineering, developed an alternative to expensive and painful biopsy in tracking damage of Covid-19 in the body.

The team has developed a novel, noninvasive blood test to measure organ injury from Covid-19.  It uses circulating cell-free DNA (cfDNA) to measure the damage that Covid-19 inflicts on cells, tissues and organs.

The test is a highly accurate, non-invasive tool to identify and monitor for infection, rejection, and severity of organ damage in transplant and Covid-19 patients.

Furthermore, cfDNA is a flexible analyte to monitor the most serious side effects of hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) for a variety of blood diseases and malignancies, such as Graft-Versus-Host Disease, infection, graft failure, and disease recurrence.

The deal is also expected to enhance stem cell transplant patient care by increasing access to a blood-based cfDNA methylation sequencing test for early diagnosis or prediction of significant problems associated with allogeneic HCT.

Eurofins Viracor, an expert in testing for infectious disease, immunology, and allergy, also wants to commercialise a new cfDNA test that may detect urinary tract infections in kidney transplant recipients and estimate the extent of kidney and bladder damage.

In July last year, empowerDX, a subsidiary of Eurofins, teamed up with Rite Aid to launch its FDA-approved, at-home Covid-19 PCR test kit in the US.