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November 30, 2021

Coronavirus company news summary – Thermo Fisher confirms TaqPath Covid-19 tests detect Omicron variant – Hologic’s SARS-CoV-2 tests effective for Omicron detection

By Kezia Parkins

Thermo Fisher Scientific has reported that its polymerase chain reaction (PCR) Covid-19 tests are capable of detecting the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2. The TaqPath COVID-19 Combo Kit and TaqPath COVID-19 CE-IVD RT-PCR Kit can detect the presence of three gene targets from the orf1a/b, S, and N regions of the virus to identify the infection. The Omicron variant impacts the S gene target while the orf1a/b and N gene targets in these tests are unaffected by this mutation. In addition, Thermo Fisher’s TaqPath COVID-19 2.0 tests can detect the virus even with variants while the company is also developing specific genotyping assays for Omicron detection. 

Hologic has reported that all three of its Covid-19 tests can identify the Omicron variant of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. No new mutations were found within regions of the genome targeted by the company’s Aptima SARS-CoV-2 Assay, Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay or Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 Assay on evaluating genetic sequences from over 175 Omicron-infected specimens. Furthermore, data from clinical users in Europe showed that the Aptima SARS-CoV-2 Assay could detect Omicron-caused infections in specimens collected from inbound flight passengers.

PerkinElmer has announced that the performance of its Covid-19 reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) tests was unaffected by Omicron, a SARS-CoV-2 variant of concern. As the company’s assays do not rely on the S gene for Covid-19 detection, they are not impacted by the S gene mutations present in Omicron. The Covid-19 portfolio of PerkinElmer comprises high throughput ribonucleic acid extraction, RT-PCR kits, sequencing workflows to identify mutations as well as a broad immunodiagnostics portfolio.

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