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Seegene’s High Multiplex PCR Assay Can Detect New Omicron Variant

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 07 Dec 2021
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Image: Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Master Assay (Photo courtesy of Seegene, Inc.)
Image: Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Master Assay (Photo courtesy of Seegene, Inc.)

Seegene, Inc. (Seoul, Korea) has confirmed that its Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Master Assay is capable of detecting the Omicron’s unique pattern of mutations.

The PCR-based test recognizes four SARS-CoV-2 genes and five notable mutations on the spike protein, all in a single test tube. This provides accurate results on whether a person is positive for COVID-19 and if they have the Omicron variant within four hours. To maximize its use, Seegene will support countries in need of tests, so they can rapidly detect cases of Omicron without the labor and equipment required for full genomic sequencing.

The Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Master Assay simultaneously detects four wild-type SARS-CoV-2 genes (E gene, RdRP gene, N gene, and S gene) and five notable S-gene mutations: HV69/70 deletion, Y144 deletion, E484K, N501Y, and P681H. Since the latest variant Omicron contains HV69/70 deletion, N501Y, and P681H mutations, this CE-IVD marked test can detect Omicron.

The process for identifying novel variants typically involves next-generation sequencing of the isolated virus, which would take a few days to get the complete result. For more rapid detection, Seegene’s Allplex SARS-CoV-2 Master Assay can detect the variant in the very first stage of screening. Public health officials can then rapidly isolate and contact trace people who are infected with this variant of concern. Along with strengthening surveillance testing, the implementation of relevant quarantine measures will give more time for countries around the world to contain the rising Omicron infections and protect their citizens

“In order to contain the further spread of Omicron, it is extremely important to preemptively detect the Omicron variant at the primary screening stage. To that end, we will fully support countries in need of our tests to enable more rapid detection of the latest variant” said Dr. Jong-Yoon Chun, Seegene Founder and CEO.

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