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Roche tests able to detect Omicron

03.12.2021

The Roche subsidiary TIB Molbiol has developed new coronavirus testing kits that can also detect the new Omicron variant of the disease. These tests will serve research purposes. However, Roche diagnosis tests could also be used to detect Omicron infections in the future.

Roche logo on a building at the headquarters in Basel (img: Roche)

TIB Molbiol Syntheselabor GmbH, which was only taken over by Roche at the start of December, has developed a trio of new coronavirus tests, further details of which can be found in a press release issued by the Basel-based life sciences group. These tests are designed to uncover mutations seen in the new Omicron variant and are based on the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) method, which delivers the relevant results in real time. In presenting its new testing kits, Roche explains that they are among the first to specify the mutations of the recently discovered Omicron variant.

Employees at TIB Molbiol worked around the clock to develop the tests after the news broke regarding Omicron, explains Thomas Schinecker, CEO Roche Diagnostics. The tests could now help to improve understanding in connection with how Omicron spreads and behaves. This will benefit ongoing research and could accelerate the development of new treatments and vaccines.

While the new tests are to be exclusively used for research purposes, Roche also offers several coronavirus tests for diagnostic purposes. The SARS-CoV-2 Variant Set 1 test (RUO) is able to detect one of the mutations observed in the Omicron variants, meaning it can be used to diagnose Omicron cases, the press release explains.

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