Biotech firm makes test kit for new virus variant

BGI Genomics, a Shenzhen-based biotech company, on Tuesday announced the successful development of a rapid detection kit for the new strain of the novel coronavirus, known as SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.7, which was originally discovered in the UK.

For COVID-19 positive cases, the company pledged the test kit could further identify and diagnose the new strain’s main mutation N501Y in one hour.

BGI stated that the test kit is still only in use for research purposes for now. So far, Guangdong, Shanghai and Hong Kong have found confirmed cases of the new variants on people returning from the UK.

The company is a major producer of test kits and labs for China and the world in the fight against the pandemic.

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