Roche has launched a new dual antigen and antibody diagnostic test, Elecsys HCV Duo immunoassay, for hepatitis C virus.

Launched in countries accepting the CE Mark, the new immunoassay has been designed for the in vitro qualitative determination of the hepatitis C virus (HCV) core antigen (HCV Ag) and antibodies to HCV (anti-HCV) from human serum and plasma samples.

It enables early diagnosis of active HCV infection and helps prevent transmission of the virus to the tissue, blood components, blood, cells or organs of the patient.

It also helps individuals get appropriate treatment sooner, stopping disease progression and transmission while reducing unnecessary healthcare costs.

The company stated that the dual detection of HCV Ag and anti-HCV enables earlier diagnosis of active HCV infection compared to antibody-only assays.

It noted that the HCV Ag appears earlier in the course of infection and is an indicator of ongoing viral replication.

Roche Diagnostics CEO Thomas Schinecker said: “With improved hepatitis screening, healthcare systems have the opportunity to eliminate the disease through improved prevention, testing and treatment services.

“The addition of the Elecsys HCV Duo assay to our HCV testing portfolio can help in the fight to eliminate the hepatitis C virus.

“The launch of this innovative dual antigen and antibody diagnostic test underlines our commitment to support clinicians and their patients in reducing the impact of infectious diseases, where it’s needed most.”

According to the World Health Organisation, 1.5 million people were newly infected with HCV in 2019 while approximately 58 million people across the world were living with chronic HCV infection, although only 21% were aware of it.

Last month, Roche introduced a human papillomavirus (HPV) self-sampling solution in countries accepting the CE mark to extend screening options for cervical cancer.