News

Roche launches COVID-19 test that detects and differentiates the emerging variant of interest BA.2.75

13.09.2022

  • Roche has developed a COVID-19 test for researchers that detects the latest subvariant BA.2.75 and can differentiate it from BA.4 or BA.5
  • This new test is a highly accurate tool that specifically targets mutations found in the BA.2.75 subvariant - providing important epidemiological  insights in monitoring the potential impact of therapeutics, vaccines, and public health interventions

 

 

Roche (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY) and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a  COVID-19 test for researchers that detects and differentiates the latest subvariant of interest BA.2.75. The test specifically targets two of the known unique mutations in BA.2.75, which allows clear differentiation against other notable subvariants. 

“Roche is pleased to have developed a test for researchers that provides insights into the epidemiology of BA.2.75, helping to understand its impact on public health,” said Cindy Perettie, Head of Molecular Labs at Roche Diagnostics Solutions. “Being able to differentiate emerging variants and understanding their similarities and mutations, can provide a basis for experts to make predictions of their spread and response to treatment strategies.”

Since it was first detected in India in May 2022, cases of BA.2.75 have been reported in more than a dozen countries. The BA.2.75  is a subvariant related to the  Omicron variant. The subvariant  is being monitored by both the World Health Organization as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It has not reached the level of a Variant of Concern, but differentiating it from BA.4 and BA.5 allows for improved tracking to understand how it is spreading.

The available research use only test, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike 147E 152R, adds to the broad suite of COVID-19 test kits developed by Roche and TIB Molbiol, for instance for the detection of the recent BA.4 and  BA.5 subvariants, as well as other mutations present in the Omicron SARS-CoV-2 variant.

Roche and TIB Molbiol’s researchers continue to work in collaboration with partners globally to continually screen for new variants and emerging diseases.  

About the VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike 147E 152R

 

The test specifically targets two of the known unique mutations, K147E and W152R, in BA.2.75, which allows clear differentiation against other notable subvariants.  This test is for research use only and is available globally. The VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike 147E 152R for use on Lightcycler(R) and cobas® z 480 analyser.

cobas z 480 analyzer

Efficiency. Flexibility. Confidence.

cobas z 480 analyzer

The cobas z 480 analyzer is a component of the modular cobas® 4800 System, and can also exist as a standalone instrument for automated amplification and detection of clinical and research assays. The cobas z 480 analyzer offers advanced real-time PCR technology for high-quality results.

About Roche’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic

 

As a leading healthcare company, we are doing all we can to support countries in their fight against COVID-19 and minimising its impact. That is why we are working with governments, policy makers, healthcare professionals and others to help contain the COVID-19 pandemic and make sure patients continue to receive the tests, treatment and care they need.

The pandemic has profoundly raised awareness of the role diagnostics play in COVID-19 diagnosis, treatment development and disease management. Roche has developed and launched more than 20 COVID-19 diagnostics solutions, including polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and rapid antigen and antibody tests. Our solutions serve the entire diagnostic continuum, from high-throughput laboratories to point-of-care and home self-testing, and cover all currently known variants. To help meet global demand, we have supplied more than 1.5 billion tests for COVID-19 since March 2020.

Roche continues to evaluate its existing therapeutic portfolio and is researching future options to help benefit patients with Covid-19. Our IL-6 inhibitor Actemra®/RoActemra® (tocilizumab) has been approved for patients hospitalised with severe COVID-19 in more than 30 countries including the European Union and is authorised for emergency use in the United States. The World Health Organization has prequalified Actemra for use in patients with severe COVID-19, facilitating its availability in low- and middle-income countries. In addition, we have been improving access to Actemra by introducing an international differentiated pricing strategy, providing the medicine at cost for use in low- and middle-income countries and non asserting patents in these regions during the pandemic. 

We have also been partnering with Regeneron to jointly develop the antibody combination Ronapreve™ (casirivimab and imdevimab, known as REGEN-COV™ in the US). It has been approved in multiple territories including the European Union, Japan, and Switzerland and authorised for emergency or temporary pandemic use in many countries including the US. The antibody combination has been made available to patients in more than 60 countries, across many geographies including low and middle income countries. As the virus continues to evolve, we are constantly monitoring Ronapreve’s activity against emerging variants of concern, and will share results with health authorities as soon as possible.

Our utmost goal remains to be a trusted partner who acts with urgency to save and improve the lives of patients with COVID-19 and to reduce its burden on society. For more information please visit our COVID-19 response page.

About Roche

 

Founded in 1896 in Basel, Switzerland, as one of the first industrial manufacturers of branded medicines, Roche has grown into the world’s largest biotechnology company and the global leader in in-vitro diagnostics. The company pursues scientific excellence to discover and develop medicines and diagnostics for improving and saving the lives of people around the world. We are a pioneer in personalised healthcare and want to further transform how healthcare is delivered to have an even greater impact. To provide the best care for each person we partner with many stakeholders and combine our strengths in Diagnostics and Pharma with data insights from the clinical practice.

In recognising our endeavor to pursue a long-term perspective in all we do, Roche has been named one of the most sustainable companies in the pharmaceuticals industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices for the thirteenth consecutive year. This distinction also reflects our efforts to improve access to healthcare together with local partners in every country we work. 

Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. 

For more information, please visit www.roche.com.

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