Operation Moonshot: rapid translation of a SARS-CoV-2 targeted peptide immunoaffinity liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry test from research into routine clinical use


During 2020, the UK’s Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) established the Moonshot programme to fund various diagnostic approaches for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the pathogen behind the COVID-19 pandemic. Mass spectrometry was one of the technologies proposed to increase testing capacity.Moonshot funded a multi-phase development programme, bringing together experts from academia, industry and the NHS to develop a state-of-the-art targeted protein assay utilising enrichment and liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to capture and detect low levels of tryptic peptides derived from SARS-CoV-2 virus.