QPS, a Newark, DE-based contract research organization (CRO), specializes discovery, preclinical and clinical drug development services. It has launched the availability of an access-restricted lab that is capable of analyzing clinical trial samples containing coronavirus, and other viruses.
According to Ben Hsu, chief administrative officer and general manager for QPS, the new lab expands the company’s capabilities and footprint. The company currently has more than 30,000-square-foot Biosafety Level (BSL) 2 lab space Delaware. These facilities handle a range of biological samples containing viruses, such as HIV, HBV and HCV, etc.
“The newly expanded lab will give us additional 1,000 square feet space with further control access measurement in place, which will contain multiple biosafety cabinets, eyewash/safety shower, freezers, lab benches, casework and other essential equipment,” Hsu said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that to date, more than 20 coronavirus vaccines are in development around the world, while a number of therapeutics are at the clinical trial stage. The organization classifies it as BSL 2, akin to HIV, HPV and the hepatitis B virus.
Benjamin Chien, CEO of QPS, said the company’s coronavirus-focused laboratory is prepared to support companies in quick, efficient analysis of the safety and efficacy of potential treatments and vaccines.
"In the fight against coronavirus, drug companies need ready access to laboratories equipped to safely manage and analyze samples from ongoing and new clinical trials focused on COVID-19," he said.
On March 4, the US Department of Health and Human Services granted QPS landed a permit for its laboratory. The Permit to Import Infectious Biological Agency, Infectious Substances and Vector includes human blood and blood products, other bodily fluids, and tissues that may contain coronavirus.
Chien added that QPS has put in place protective steps designed to safeguard its staff and sponsors from the virus. These include:
- Stringent safety and containment procedures regarding handling samples
- Procedures designed to ensure safe disposal of infectious wastes
- Stocking up on personal protective equipment for technicians.
In September 2019, QPS expanded its global research with three additional facilities. It added an Alzheimer’s clinic in Netherlands, as well as facilities in India and China.