Diagnostic healthcare products manufacturer Quidel has confirmed that its antigen tests have the capability to detect the new emerging Covid-19 variants such as Omicron.

The company’s Sofia SARS Antigen FIA and QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 Test were found to detect the Omicron variant in the recent testing of live samples from South Africa.

The QuickVue test is designed to detect the nucleocapsid protein antigen from SARS-CoV-2 in people with or without symptoms.

Using self-collected direct anterior nasal swab samples, the test provides results in ten minutes.

The initial findings from RADx laboratory studies showed that the QuickVue antigen tests can detect the Omicron variant with similar performance as with other variants.

The RADx laboratory has conducted the studies using the heat-inactivated Omicron samples. It has also completed the additional testing of the antigen tests using live virus.

Quidel president and CEO Douglas Bryant said: “At Quidel, we continuously monitor the evolution and activity of Covid-19 variants in circulation, and the Omicron variant is no exception.

“Quidel has been, and will continue to be, vigilant in evaluating our assays with both genetic sequencing and real-world virus sample studies to assure customers of our products’ efficacy as the coronavirus evolves.

“Quidel has risen to the challenge and we are proud to be at the forefront of the diagnostic industry’s response to the pandemic.”

Meanwhile, the company has also announced to enhance its weekly Covid-19 antigen tests production to provide affordable Covid-19 testing access to its communities.

Recently, Quidel agreed to acquire Ortho Clinical Diagnostics, for a total consideration of about $6bn.