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Hologic Launches Multiplex COVID-19/Flu Test that Runs on Its Fully Automated Panther Molecular Diagnostics System

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 29 Oct 2021
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Image: Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay (Photo courtesy of Hologic, Inc.)
Image: Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay (Photo courtesy of Hologic, Inc.)

Hologic, Inc. (Marlborough, MA, USA) has now made its Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay available for the simultaneous detection and differentiation of three respiratory viruses that can present with overlapping clinical symptoms.

The three viruses - SARS-CoV-2, influenza A and influenza B - typically cause similar symptoms including fever, cough, headache and fatigue1. With the potential for seasonal flu in addition to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, physicians may want to test patients presenting with these shared symptoms for all three viruses. Hologic’s new multiplex test is CE-Marked for diagnostic use in Europe, authorized under Interim Order by Health Canada, and has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The assay runs on Hologic’s fully automated Panther system, which provides initial results in approximately three hours and can process more than 1,000 tests in 24 hours.

The Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu Assay can be used with both anterior nasal swab and nasopharyngeal sample types. Multiple collection devices can be used, including Hologic’s Direct Load Collection Kits, recently launched in the U.S., which are designed to reduce risk of viral transmission and improve laboratory efficiency. A buffer within the collection tube inactivates SARS-CoV-2 and other common respiratory viruses. Then the tubes are loaded directly onto the Panther instrument without any manual steps, reducing human error and repetitive motion injuries. To date, Hologic has provided more than 100 million SARS-CoV-2 assays to its laboratory customers and installed over 2,700 Panther systems in clinical diagnostic laboratories around the world.

“Our new assay will provide greater flexibility and testing options for labs and healthcare providers as we head into what is typically flu season in the United States,” said Kevin Thornal, president of the Diagnostic Solutions Division at Hologic. “Because our Panther instruments are so widely placed in clinical labs across the country, the launch of this test will help deliver results where and when they are needed.”

“Our new SARS-CoV-2/Flu assay is a valuable option for healthcare systems by providing the ability to detect multiple infectious agents simultaneously,” said Jan Verstreken, group president, International at Hologic. “Hologic has been consistently at the forefront of public health needs during the current pandemic by providing fully automated testing capabilities to address the global situation.”

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