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Novacyt launches diagnostic test to differentiate between COVID-19 and flu

Test launches in time for upcoming winter flu season

Biotech company Novacyt has announced the launch of a new diagnostic test which can tell the difference between COVID-19 and the flu, as the winter flu season approaches.

The clinical diagnostics company said that its Winterplex test includes two gene targets specific to COVID-19, as well as gene targets for influenza A and B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

According to the company, clinical trial data of the test demonstrated 100% specificity and between 96% and 100% sensitivity across the panel.

The new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) respiratory test can be used on any open PCR platform, including Novacyt’s portable q32 instrument.

PCR tests are the most preferred form of diagnostics for COVID-19, as they can be used to directly detect the presence of an antigen in the body, as opposed to just the presence of antibodies.

This is a more accurate way of distinguishing whether or not an individual has the disease, as the PCR test can detect viral RNA which will be present in the body before antibodies form. This means that PCR tests can tell whether someone has the virus soon after they catch it.

“Novacyt has established itself as a pioneer in COVID-19 diagnostics through the rapid development and success of its COVID-19 PCR test and the launch of Winterplex is another example of this innovative approach,” said Graham Mullis, group chief executive officer of Novacyt.

"We believe Winterplex is one of the world’s first approved respiratory test panels that can differentiate between COVID-19 and other common respiratory diseases. The test panel is a key addition to our COVID-19 product portfolio to support healthcare providers as we approach flu season in the Northern hemisphere,” he added.

Novacyt’s COVID-19 PCR test has seen increasing demand since its launch earlier this year, with sales in June hitting €25.4m (£22.5m).

The company expects its new Winterplex test, combined with continued growth of its existing COVID-19 PCR test, to continue to drive growth well into next year.

"The immediate pipeline of new products is expected to drive incremental revenue for the Company in the near-term, but Novacyt’s strengthened financial position also means we are able to redefine our R&D pipeline for the next three years, which we expect to drive significant and continued growth opportunities in the longer-term,” added Mullis.

Article by
Lucy Parsons

28th August 2020

From: Sales

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