Assay design company Molecular Designs has developed a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test that is capable of detecting the U.K. COVID-19 variant. The new test targets four signature mutations in the variant, the company said.
To detect the variant, labs must sequence the viral genome from positive SARS-CoV-2 tests but the process is expensive and slow, the firm said. The new test targets four signature mutations in the variant, and Assurance Scientific Laboratories is currently validating the test for clinical use. If all goes according to plan, Assurance will fill for authorization under its existing U.S. Food and Drug Administration emergency use authorization.
Work is also underway to identify the SARS-CoV-2 variants first identified in Brazil and South Africa.