BCTC partners with TEC Biosciences on COVID-19 research | BCTC

BCTC partners with TEC Biosciences on COVID-19 research

Published on Apr 1, 2020

LEXINGTON, KY — Bluegrass Community and Technical College (BCTC) is partnering with TEC Biosciences, Inc. (TECbio) to further COVID-19 research.

“We are pleased to partner with our biotech community to provide equipment and facilities to support their research,” said Dr. Koffi Akakpo, BCTC president. “We want to assist in any way we can in these challenging times.”

TECbio, a Lexington-based biotech startup, is using a BCTC lab and equipment to further COVID-19 identification and research. Using the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) protocol, TECbio researchers are conducting tests within bio safety cabinets to identify coronavirus nucleic acid on sample swabs. At no time will the lab or researchers be exposed to aerosolized virus. Testing is done within the appropriate safety environment as commended by the CDC. This testing will assist with identification of COVID-19 cases in Kentucky.

In addition, TECbio researchers will conduct genome sequencing studies with BCTC’s Illumina MiSeq machine, and the data obtained from these experiments will be useful in helping the vaccine development effort. The MiSeq performs small scale genome sequencing analysis ideal for use on the genome of this novel coronavirus.

Patient samples will NOT be collected at BCTC. All public health measures that prohibit sick, exposed, or  individuals in contact with a person under investigation for coronavirus are in place to keep these individuals from being on site.

Research will conclude and CDC approved cleaning and sterilization will take place before students or employees return to campus.