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December 9, 2021updated 07 Jan 2022 8:27am

Coronavirus company news summary – HealthTrackRx’s PCR testing technology identifies Omicron variant – PerkinElmer unveils Covid-19 NGS solution for variant detection

By Kezia Parkins

HealthTrackRx has reported that its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing technology can identify the SARS-CoV-2 virus with the Omicron variant. The company’s tests can identify infection by detecting three viral gene targets and can deliver precise results even if one target is affected by mutations. The Spike (S) gene target in the test is impacted by the Omicron variant while the other two are not.

PerkinElmer has introduced its NEXTFLEX Variant-Seq SARS-CoV-2 Kit v2, a research use only (RUO) kit, to expedite SARS-CoV-2 viral variant identification. The comprehensive next-generation sequencing (NGS) solution is claimed to permit laboratories to boost sequencing throughput and consistently detect variants. The test kit checks for and detects mutations linked to all viral variants, including the Omicron variant, from positive test samples. By including novel NEXTFLEX normalisation beads, the kit lowers laboratory turnaround time by three hours. 

genedrive has reported that its rapid point of care SARS-CoV-2 test has obtained CE-IVD mark in Europe. The Genedrive COV19-ID kit can offer positive and negative results using mid-turbinate nasal swab samples in 7.5 minutes and at 17 minutes, respectively. Leveraging Reverse-Transcription Loop Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) and a buffer formulation, the rapid molecular diagnostic test does not need viral extraction. The company noted that the test acts on the ORF1ab and N genes of the viral genome and may not be impacted by newly emergent viral variants including Omicron.

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