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Novacyt has announced the launch of its new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test SNPsig® VariPLEX, which can detect six variants of COVID-19. The CE-mark approved kit can detect COVID-19’s four key variants of concerns, as well as the significant mutations N501Y and E484K.

N501Y and E484K, along with the COVID-19 variants first identified in the UK, Brazil, South Africa and California, are now prevalent across the world.

The VariPLEX test returns results within two hours, making it ideal for use in on-site settings. Novacyt has also said that the rapid turnaround could prove useful for next generation sequencing, which would normally need around 2 weeks of off-site analysis.

Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said: “This is an important step in our response to COVID-19. As we reach a point where vaccination efforts are increasing globally, we are also seeing a worrying rise in the number of variants of the virus, all of which bring subtly different challenges to healthcare systems around the world.”

“With VariPLEX, we are offering an affordable, scalable and time efficient alternative to next generation sequencing which allows for reliable testing of key variants in a single test. By providing an on-site solution which reads out in less than two hours, we are ensuring that it is possible to track variants and the infections they cause on a global scale.”

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