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Cepheid’s `Plus` Version of COVID-19 Test Adds Third Gene Target for Detection of Future SARS-CoV-2 Variants

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 20 May 2022
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Image: Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus with enhanced gene coverage (Photo courtesy of Cepheid)
Image: Xpert® Xpress CoV-2 plus with enhanced gene coverage (Photo courtesy of Cepheid)

Viruses constantly change through mutation and these mutations can give rise to new variants with unique characteristics. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented globally during the pandemic. A new COVID-19 test is proactively addressing this increasing genetic diversity by enhancing gene coverage.

Cepheid’s (Sunnyvale, CA, USA) Xpert Xpress CoV-2 plus, a rapid molecular diagnostic test for qualitative detection of the virus that causes COVID-19, incorporates a third conserved genetic target for SARS-CoV-2 detection in order to meet the challenge of future viral mutations and optimizes nucleocapsid gene probes to enable consistent virus detection. Xpert Xpress CoV-2 plus is designed for use on any of Cepheid's over 40,000 GeneXpert systems placed worldwide. The test can provide rapid on-demand detection of SARS-CoV-2 in as soon as 20 minutes for positive results.

Cepheid has received the CE mark for Xpert Xpress CoV-2 plus which is authorized to be used on any individuals, including for screening those without symptoms or reasons to suspect COVID-19. The test joins Xpert Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus and others in the company’s growing portfolio of PCRplus respiratory tests that deliver rapid, accurate, and actionable respiratory results. Xpert Xpress CoV2 plus Xpert Xpress CoV-2/Flu/RSV plus continues to be the most appropriate product for when multiple viruses that cause influenza-like illnesses are circulating.

"From the beginning of the pandemic, we have been keenly focused on staying ahead of SARS-CoV-2 genetic drift and have designed our tests in anticipation of current and potential future variants," said David Persing, M.D., Ph.D., EVP, and Chief Scientific Officer. "The high sensitivity of this test is now especially important for recently announced Test-to-Treat initiatives, for which early detection is important for achieving the best clinical outcomes of antiviral therapies."

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