S'pore company produces highly accurate & cheaper PCR test kits that can detect Omicron & Delta variants

About half the price of the imported ones.

Zhangxin Zheng | December 03, 2021, 03:19 PM

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Home-grown medical technology company Acumen Diagnostics announced on Dec. 3 that it is now able to produce polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test kits that are capable of detecting both Delta and Omicron Covid-19 cases.

The two test kits Acu-Corona2.0 and Acu-CoronaDuplex are manufactured locally so they can be deployed quickly and are more cost-effective and affordable than imported kits.

According to the press release, the Acu-Corona 2.0 PCR test targets two Covid-19 genes - RdRp and E, while the Acu-Corona Duplex PCR test targets the E gene and S gene.

The portion of the S gene targeted by the Acu-Corona Duplex PCR test does not contain any of the 32 mutations that occurred in the Omicron variant, hence it can detect the Omicron variant.

The Straits Times reported that the PCR test kits are estimated to be half the price of the imported test kits. The test kits are already in use.

The company's two laboratories can also run up to 7,000 Covid-19 diagnostics tests daily.

Chief Executive Officer and Chief Scientist of Acumen Diagnostics Ong Siew Hwa said, "As the Covid-19 threat continues to evolve with the emergence of a potentially more transmissible variant, Omicron, highly-accurate and cost-effective Covid-19 testing becomes even more important to detect and help curb the spread of the virus."

Singapore reported its first Omicron Covid-19 cases yesterday.

They were imported cases from Johannesburg, involving a Singaporean and a Permanent Resident.

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Top image via Acumen Diagnostics