Precision molecular diagnostics company DiaCarta Inc. has announced that it has produced a test that can detect the newest Omicron variant of COVID-19. The QuantiVirus SARS-CoV-2 Variant Detection Test, based on DiaCarta’s XNA technology, is the new multiplex qPCR-based test and screens for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and can also identify new COVID-19 variants.

"We are extremely excited that our proprietary XNA technology has enabled the rapid development of a diagnostic test to identify the Omicron variant that is estimated by the WHO & CDC to be highly mutated, highly transmissible and extremely virulent," said Ram Vairavan, PhD, Senior Vice President of Commercial Operations at DiaCarta.

Vairavan added: "Moreover, DiaCarta's novel test can run on commonly available qPCR cyclers, thereby, bypassing the need to perform expensive and time-consuming Next-Generation Sequencing – a huge advantage as this rapid cost-effective solution will be highly beneficial in global surveillance to contain this rapidly spreading variant."

The new SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant has been classified as a Variant of Concern by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The new variant exhibits more than 10 mutations in the Spike protein, which is five times the amount as the Delta variant. The Omricon variant is being widely forecast to spread rapidly across the world.

Aiguo 'Adam' Zhang, PhD, CEO of DiaCarta commented: "DiaCarta's XNA technology is extremely sensitive to detecting point mutations and can be widely applied to multiple diseases."

"DiaCarta's existing QuantiVirus™ SARS-CoV-2 Test that has US FDA's Emergency Use Authorisation targets sequences that are distant from the highly mutated regions frequently detected in the newly emerging variants, which is why this test can reliably detect all newly emerging and existing SARS-CoV-2 variant strains, including the new Omicron variant strain."

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