Omega Laboratories has launched a new suite of Covid-19 laboratory testing services, which include polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) testing for SARS-COV-2.

Omega’s testing suite will use the same PCR methods that are used by governments, communities, and organisations around the world to track the virus.

The launch is expected to address the current capacity issues and shortages being faced by the government and companies to secure Covid-19 testing services. It also reaffirms the company’s position to expand into clinical testing.

Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) with emergency use authorisation (EUA), the PCR testing introduced by Omega includes real-time PCR (RT-PCR) with high throughput and high sensitivity.

Patients will be tested for the infection, using nasopharyngeal and nasal mid-turbinate swab collections. The system is expected to produce results between 8 and 36 hours.

The company said that while other labs are finding it difficult to detect new variants of the Covid-19, its RT-PCR test can pick up all known global variants and mutated strains.

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It is also working to validate Covid-19 oral fluid testing and laboratory-based antibody testing in the coming months.

Omega Laboratories CEO Bill Corl said: “When we saw existing laboratories struggling with turnaround time and testing availability last fall, we began to investigate and build the best system possible.

“This has allowed us to secure the top-performing equipment and supplies to offer fast and high-quality Covid-19 testing services.”

A few months ago, Omega had opened a new laboratory in Canada. By entering clinical testing, the company seized an opportunity to grow internationally.

From January, the new lab in Canada had started performing Covid-19 PCR testing for organisations in the country.

Omega Laboratories Clinical Laboratory Operations director Roza George said: “As vaccines are distributed, countries still face many challenges and reliable testing is key to meeting those challenges. We have confirmed that our testing will detect all variants of Covid-19. Omega will play a key role in assisting the healthcare community during this crisis.”