6 COVID-19 test-makers whose products can detect omicron

As the omicron variant spreads across the globe, diagnostic companies are racing to test the efficiency of current COVID-19 tests on the market in detecting the variant. 

The variant was classified as a variant of concern by the World Health Organization on Nov. 30, with the U.S. following suit. Since then, 18 states have reported cases as officials race to contain the spread. FDA officials met with drugmakers Dec. 5 to discuss expediting the authorization of vaccines targeting the new variant. 

German-based Qiagen confirmed Nov. 26 that the variant can be reliably detected using its PCR tests and viral mRNA kits. 

Abbott, which makes more than 100 million COVID-19 rapid and PCR tests worldwide, said Nov. 27 that scientists worked "nonstop" as soon as data on the omicron sequence became available to determine that the mutations would not affect detection ability. 

Co-Diagnostics said in a Nov. 29 news release that its tests will maintain performance in the face of the variant, including combination diagnostics tests screening for COVID-19 and other infections. 

Cue Health confirmed its tests are effective in identifying the variant in a Nov. 29 news release, as researchers determined 99.2 percent of the published omicron sequences are a "perfect match" to the primers used in the company's molecular COVID-19 test.

Franklin, N.J.-based BD said in a Nov. 30 statement that its rapid antigen and PCR tests are able to detect the variant, after analyzing all available genome sequences in the GISAID database as of Nov. 29. 

The PCR TaqPath COVID-19 combo kit and TaqPath COVID-19 CE-IVD RT-PCR kit from Thermo Fisher Scientific are effective in detecting the omicron variant, the company confirmed Dec. 1.


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