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Feb 23, 2022 11 AM EST

Eurofins Viracor Biopharma presented a webinar on Friday, November 11, 2022 | Time: 11am EST titled "Next-Generation Sequencing Applications for Antiviral Drug Development", presented by Kirthi Kutumbaka, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Eurofins Viracor BioPharma.


Accurate detection and monitoring of minority variants that confer drug and antiviral resistance is critical to therapeutic and vaccine trials. Specifically, it aids in controlling the emergence of novel variants that can potentially lead to outbreaks of disease and breakthrough infections. Gene variants can compromise virologic response and impact clinical outcomes.

In this webinar the featured speaker explores the following case study:

Viracor Biopharma Services has developed and validated a next-generation sequencing (NGS) assay to determine the genetic variability in the F gene of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) isolated from human nasal swab (NS) specimens. The NGS method has several advantages over standard Sanger sequencing related to higher sensitivity, quantifiable, cost effective and automatable data analysis steps. The study utilized a deep sequencing approach to quantify minority variants. The patients in this study received a therapeutic targeting RSV. Defined proportions of artificial virus quasispecies were used in creation of artificial RNA pools, and their relative proportions were measured using the NGS assay. The assay was validated for the performance characteristics such as analytical sensitivity, precision and accuracy.

Topics in this presentation include:

  • The importance of detection and control of novel variants in antiviral therapy and vaccine development trials
  • Review of NGS procedures and data submissions in support of resistance assessments for antiviral drug development
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s guidance for NGS data submissions to the Division of Antiviral Products 


About our presenter: 

Kirthi Kutumbaka, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Eurofins Viracor BioPharma

Dr. Kirthi Kutumbaka joined Eurofins Viracor Biopharma services in 2021 as a Senior Scientist in Kansas City, Kansas. In his current role, he serves as the technical lead for developing and validating assays to detect and quantify viruses utilizing next-generation sequencing (NGS) and Sanger sequencing. He has nine years of experience in the life sciences industry. He earned his PhD in microbiology, and master’s in bioinformatics from Northern Illinois University in Dekalb, IL. Later as a Post-Doc Researcher and Research Scientist at IEH laboratories and Consulting Group, he participated in numerous foodborne outbreak investigations. At IEH labs he utilized NGS for the identification of variants of concern and performed comparison studies. Over the years, he has built his expertise in molecular microbiology focusing on utilizing sequencing-based assays for infectious disease research.

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