Roche Introduces PCR Tests That Can Detect Omicron Variant


Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG has developed PCR tests that can detect the omicron variant of Covid-19, which would help countries monitor the spread of the new strain.

Roche said Friday its recently acquired TIB Molbiol unit is introducing three such tests for research use only. The company also said it checked its existing Covid diagnostics, and all of them can detect the disease when a patient has the omicron variant.

The Swiss drugmaker concluded its purchase of TIB Molbiol on Wednesday, for an undisclosed price. The Berlin-based company came up with a PCR test for Covid in January 2020, within weeks of the first reported cases of Covid.

The omicron variant of Covid-19, first identified in South Africa, has now been detected in countries from the U.S. to South Korea.