Thermo Fisher says its COVID-19 tests accurately detect Omicron variant – .

Thermo Fisher says its COVID-19 tests accurately detect Omicron variant – .

Nov. 29 (Reuters) – Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc (TMO.N) said on Monday that its COVID-19 diagnostic tests can accurately detect the new variant of the Omicron coronavirus that has prompted several countries to close their borders.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) classified the Omicron variant as a “variant of concern” of SARS-CoV-2, saying it could spread faster than other forms. Read more

Thermo Fisher’s COVID-19 TaqPath tests may report accurate results even in the event that one of the genetic targets is affected by a mutation, the company said in a statement.

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“This test can be used not only to successfully detect COVID-19, but… it can also be used as a proxy for the [Omicron] variant, ”said Mark Stevenson, COO at Thermo Fisher Scientific, in an interview.

Stevenson said it was the only COVID-19 diagnostic test both cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that can be used to indicate whether a case is caused by the Omicron variant.

He added that Thermo is ready to increase its test production to meet demand from countries in Africa and beyond as they work to keep up with the spread of the new variant.

Other COVID-19 tests, including from Roche Holding AG (ROG.S) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT.N), can also be used to diagnose positive cases of COVID-19 caused by the variant, although only Thermo Fisher has so far confirmed that his test can be used to help identify the variant.

“We have performed an evaluation of the Omicron variant and are confident that our antigen and PCR tests can” identify positive cases of COVID-19 caused by Omicron, said an Abbott spokesperson.

Test samples should always be sent to a lab for sequencing to confirm that the case was caused by Omicron and not by another variant with similar characteristics, such as the Alpha variant, Stevenson said.

Omicron, which was first detected in southern Africa, has now been confirmed in Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Great Britain, Denmark, Germany, Hong Kong, Israel, Italy, Countries -Bas, in France, in South Africa and in the neighbor of the United States. north, Canada.

The WHO said it was working with technical experts to understand the potential impact of the variant on existing COVID-19 countermeasures, including vaccines.

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Report by Radhika Anilkumar in Bengaluru and Carl O’Donnell in New York; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Andrea Ricci

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.


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