Menarini Diagnostics has introduced its new CE-IVD real-time PCR kit, CoronaMeltVAR, for detecting SARS CoV-2 and identifying the Omicron variant.

The kit is designed to detect viral RNA from oropharyngeal, nasopharyngeal and saliva swabs and provides results in less than two hours.

Through the amplification of two targets, which are compatible with all variants as well as the wild type form, CoronaMeltVAR can identify positive samples with high sensitivity.

It also releases a distinct signal following the detection of the Omicron variant BA.1, BA.2, Alpha, Beta/Gamma or wild type/Delta.

The kit is based on RT-PCR amplification, with intercalating dye and melting curve analysis, for confirming the amplified product’s identity.

Menarini Silicon Biosystems chairman and CEO and A.Menarini Diagnostics general manager and global head Fabio Piazzalunga said: “We are extremely proud to have made this unique solution available so quickly. It is helping healthcare professionals in providing a specific, rapid and accurate solution for the diagnosis and identification of Covid-19 Omicron variant.”

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A.Menarini Diagnostics forms part of the Menarini Pharmaceutical Group.

The kit provides all responses in a single run from each sample and eliminates the need for a second reflex test on positive samples.

According to the company, CoronaMeltVAR is compatible with most RNA extraction systems, as well as RT-PCR instruments that can perform melting curve analysis at moderate resolution.

In 2020, Menarini Silicon Biosystems reported data from a Phase III STIC CTC study that supported the reliability of using circulating tumour cell count to guide frontline therapy choice for estrogen receptor-positive (ER+), HER2-negative (HER2) metastatic breast cancer patients.