Roche and its unit TIB Molbiol have introduced three Research Use Only (RUO) test kits to identify the mutations in the novel B.1.1.529 Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Intended for usage on LightCycler and cobas z 480 analysers, the VirSNip SARS Spike ins214EPE, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike S371L S373P and VirSNip SARS Spike E484A test kits aid in distinguishing Omicron variant from other viral variants. Roche gained rights to the TIB Molbiol-developed test kits through its acquisition of the German firm earlier this month.

Eurofins Technologies has unveiled its multiplex RT-PCR assay, GSD NovaType Detect + Select K417N SARS-CoV-2 to detect the Omicron variant of concern. The test can qualitatively identify SARS-CoV-2 genomic RNA and the spike (S) mutation K417N concurrently. The test detects the Omicron variant even before the samples undergo complete genome sequencing and delivers results within one hour.

The US government has announced plans to completely reimburse at-home Covid tests for several Americans with private health insurance, Westport News reported. Individuals who are not covered under private insurance will receive free tests at over 20,000 government-supported testing centres in the country. It’s not clear when the fresh policy will be implemented with guidance anticipated on 15 January next year.