Thermo Fisher Scientific has introduced its new Covid-19 test, TaqPath COVID-19 Fast PCR Combo Kit 2.0, growing its portfolio of tests for precise SARS-CoV-2 detection.

The CE-IVD-marked test is designed for identifying existing and emergent SARS-CoV-2 variants by using eight targets across three of the virus’s genomic regions.

This technique aids in delivering precise results even as the virus mutates, Thermo Fisher said.

The TaqPath test directly evaluates raw saliva with a two-hour turnaround time to aid in extensive and high-frequency testing.

Thermo Fisher genetic sciences senior medical director Manoj Gandhi said: “Covid-19 variants can be more transmissible and potentially impact efficacy of diagnostics, vaccines and therapies, threatening to reverse progress made in the past year.

“We are working to empower our customers to prepare for the next stage of the pandemic by future-proofing our test design against likely mutations and to provide continued confidence in their results.”

In March last year, the first generation TaqPath COVID-19 CE-IVD RT-PCR Kit and the TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit obtained both initial CE-IVD marking and Emergency Use Authorisation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

A single, high throughput test, the TaqPath COVID-19 CE-IVD RT-PCR kit can analyse up to 382 samples within two hours.

It is meant for the qualitative identification of SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid in upper respiratory and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) samples from people suspected of having Covid-19.

The TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit can analyse up to 94 specimens within three hours.

This test is indicated to detect Covid-19 in samples obtained using nasopharyngeal swabs, nasopharyngeal aspirate and BAL from individuals who are at risk of contracting Covid-19 or have disease symptoms.

Earlier this month, Thermo Fisher Scientific launched its Ion AmpliSeq SARS-CoV-2 Insight Research Assay for early detection of emerging and known Covid-19 virus variants from samples with reduced lower viral loads.