Covid-19 tests from Thermo Fisher and Healthineers evolve

Earlier this year Thermo Fisher Scientific found itself, quite by chance, with a Covid-19 test able to distinguish the Alpha variant, at that time the main variant of concern. Now it has gained FDA emergency use authorisation for two new tests designed – deliberately, this time – to ensure that future mutations will not escape detection. The TaqPath Covid-19 Fast PCR Combo Kit 2.0 and the TaqPath Covid-19 RNase P Combo Kit 2.0 both target eight different genes across three regions of the coronavirus, hopefully ensuring that its presence can still be detected regardless of future mutations. The latter is a fairly standard PCR test, using nasal and nasopharyngeal samples, while the Fast PCR combo kit detects the virus in saliva samples. But neither test specifies which variant a patient carries. Attacking the virus from a different angle, Siemens Healthineers today released a new algorithm for its Atellica diagnostics instruments designed to help predict a patient’s chances of developing severe Covid-19. In this it is similar to Memed’s Covid-19 Severity assay, though it assesses different biomarkers. Unlike Memed’s test, Healthineers’ algorithm is intended for investigational or educational use only, and ought not be used to guide patient care.

Share This Article