OpGen Subsidiary Curetis GmbH and Karolinska Institute Collaborate in Study of Bacterial Co-Infections in COVID-19 Pneumonia Patients

GAITHERSBURG, Md. and HOLZGERLINGEN, Germany, April 21, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — OpGen, Inc. (Nasdaq: OPGN, “OpGen”), a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease, announced today the start of an investigator initiated collaboration with Karolinska Institutet, Sweden, to identify bacterial co-infections in patients admitted to the ICU for COVID-19 pneumonia using the Unyvero HPN panel.
High-risk COVID-19 patients, especially in intensive care units and on ventilation, many of whom may be elderly or have preexisting conditions that compromise their immune system, are at a higher risk of acquiring bacterial co-infections that pose severe life-threatening complications. These co-infections are not always easily determined based on clinical symptoms alone, and, if they go unnoticed or diagnosis is delayed, it can lead to dire outcomes including mortality.

Karolinska Institutet had previously evaluated the Unyvero system and the HPN panel. Curetis has now provided additional Unyvero Analyzers for increased throughput and additional HPN cartridges to enable testing of these critical specimens.

“We are excited about this collaboration which allows us to use the Unyvero HPN multiplexed molecular diagnostic panel to rapidly detect a comprehensive spectrum of clinically relevant bacterial and fungal pathogens and antibiotic resistance markers in lower respiratory tract specimens obtained from critically ill hospitalized ICU patients during this COVID-19 pandemic. We envision the future possibility of running specimens 24/7 in a random access fashion as the samples arrive in the laboratory,” said Professor and Senior Consultant Physician Christian Giske, at the Department of Laboratory Medicine, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden.

The Unyvero Hospitalized Pneumonia (HPN) panel detects 21 clinically relevant pathogens and 17 antibiotic resistance markers in less than 5 hours directly from native specimen with only around 2 minutes of hands-on time, compared to routine bacterial cultures that can take up to several days for confirmatory pathogen identification and antimicrobial susceptibility testing results. In the U.S., the Unyvero LRT and LRT BAL panels for rapid detection of lower respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia are FDA-cleared for tracheal aspirate samples and bronchoalveolar lavage fluids, respectively. Unyvero HPN and LRT BAL are the only syndromic pneumonia panels that also include Pneumocystis jirovecii.

“Time is critical when managing a novel virus and bacterial pneumonia co-infections, especially during a pandemic of such grave scale as COVID-19. Rapid multiplex molecular diagnostics can play a crucial role in the fight against the pandemic. We are very pleased about our collaboration with Karolinska Institutet and we sincerely hope that in this way we can contribute to improving the outcomes of COVID-19 patients by way of a comprehensive offering of diagnostic solutions for severe and often life-threatening respiratory tract infections,” said Oliver Schacht, PhD, CEO of OpGen, Inc.

About OpGen, Inc.

OpGen, Inc. (Gaithersburg, MD, USA) is a precision medicine company harnessing the power of molecular diagnostics and bioinformatics to help combat infectious disease. Along with subsidiaries, Curetis GmbH and Ares Genetics GmbH, we are developing and commercializing molecular microbiology solutions helping to guide clinicians with more rapid and actionable information about life threatening infections to improve patient outcomes, and decrease the spread of infections caused by multidrug-resistant microorganisms, or MDROs. OpGen’s product portfolio includes Unyvero, Acuitas AMR Gene Panel and Acuitas® Lighthouse, and the ARES Technology Platform including ARESdb, using NGS technology and AI-powered bioinformatics solutions for antibiotic response prediction.

For more information, please visit www.opgen.com.