Who Got the Early Jump on the Monkeypox Lab Tests Market?
Companies are using the lessons learned from COVID-19 to get out of the box quickly in developing test kits for monkeypox.
Like most forms of adversity, the COVID-19 pandemic forged new heroes, among them the medical lab industry which was able to develop and produce new tests for the SARS-CoV-2 virus in record time. Now, the industry is putting that newfound capacity to good use by cranking out test kits for monkeypox. And that’s a good thing given how important effective screening assays will be to detect and contain the outbreak of the virus that’s now spreading across the world at a concerning rate. Here’s a quick rundown of which companies have gotten out of the box first, as of the end of May.
Only a few weeks after monkeypox cases began breaking out in Europe, Swiss firm Roche Diagnostics has developed tests for the virus. This is hardly surprising, given that Roche’s PCR RT test was one of the first tests to receive Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the FDA in the early days of the COVID-19 crisis. With the help of subsidiary TIB Molbiol, Roche has completed development of three different LightMix Modular Virus kits for monkeypox:
- The first test detects orthopoxviruses, the biological grouping which includes viruses associated with monkeypox as well as smallpox and cowpox;
- The second test detects only monkeypox viruses, specifically the West African and Central African strains; and
- The third is for researchers and detects both orthopoxviruses and the monkeypox virus.
On May 26, molecular diagnostics firm Co-Diagnostics announced that it has completed the principal design work for a PCR-based monkeypox test based on its CoPrimer technology and software system. Investors loved what they heard, fueling a seven percent increase in Co-Diagnostics stock on a day that the entire S&P 500 index gained only two percent. “One of the most important lessons the world learned following the Covid pandemic is the importance of quick, decisive action in the face of any potential outbreak of transmissible viruses,” company CEO Dwight Egan stated in a press release.
Life science raw materials maker Meridian Bioscience has also stepped up to the new challenge by announcing that its inhibitor-tolerant qPCR master mixes are ideal for developing fast, accurate, and highly sensitive qPCR molecular tests for monkeypox. These mixes come in versions that are compatible with either wet or dry assay formats of Meridian’s Lyo-Ready (lyophilization ready) or Air-Dryable technologies.
On May 23, Chinese firm Bioperfectus announced the launch of its Monkeypox Virus Real Time PCR Kit, a CE-marked assay for detecting the F3L gene areas of the virus. The kit also comes with a housekeeping gene (RNase P) as an internal control (IC) for specimen sampling and nucleic acid extraction.
On May 27, India-headquartered company Trivitron Healthcare announced that it has developed an RT-PCR kit to detect monkeypox. According to the company’s website, the kit can differentiate between monkeypox and smallpox and provides a total turnaround time of one hour.
Subscribe to view Essential
Start a Free Trial for immediate access to this article