Roche gains FDA Emergency Use Authorization for simultaneous COVID-19 / flu test

By Rachel Arthur contact

- Last updated on GMT

The ability to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viruses is needed during a flu season that coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, says the FDA in its EUA. Pic:getty/anyaivnova
The ability to differentiate SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza viruses is needed during a flu season that coincides with the COVID-19 pandemic, says the FDA in its EUA. Pic:getty/anyaivnova

Related tags: Roche, Coronavirus, COVID-19, Influenza

Roche’s new test will allow healthcare professionals to differentiate between SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A and Influenza B.

The cobas SARS-CoV-2 and Influenza A/B Test is the first commercial test for fully automated high throughput systems to detect and differentiate between SARS-CoV-2 and influenza viruses with a single sample, according to the Swiss biotech company.

While there are FDA-approved/cleared tests for influenza A and B viruses, there are no FDA-approved/cleared multiplexed tests for simultaneous detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2 and influenza A/B virus nucleic acids.

Thomas Schinecker, CEO, Roche Diagnostics, said: “With the approaching flu season, this new test is particularly important as SARS-CoV-2 and influenza infections can hardly be differentiated by symptoms alone.

“Now, with a single test, healthcare professionals can confidently provide the right diagnosis and most effective treatment plan for their patients.”

The test is for use on cobas 6800/8800 systems. The systems provide up to 96 results in around 3 hours and 384 results for the cobas 6800 System and 1,056 results for the cobas 8800 System in an 8-hour shift.

The cobas SARS-CoV-2 & Influenza A/B Test is a multiplex reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) assay intended for the simultaneous qualitative detection and differentiation of SARS-CoV-2, Influenza A virus, and Influenza B virus in nasal or nasopharyngeal swab samples. Under the FDA Emergency Use Authorization, the test can be used when a healthcare provider suspects a respiratory viral infection like COVID-19. It is not intended for the detection of Influenza C virus.  

The test is also available in markets accepting the CE mark.

In March Roche also received FDA EUA for a high-volume molecular test to detect SARS-CoV-2. In May, its COVID-19 antibody test received FDA EUA. In July it added a Rapid Antibody Test to its portfolio, with SD Biosensor as distribution partner, that allows the detection of antibodies against COVID-19 at the point of care.

Roche also plans to launch a SARS-CoV-2 Rapid Antigen Test at the end of this month.  

Related topics: Bio Developments, COVID-19

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