Co-Diagnostics Inc., a Salt Lake City molecular diagnostics company, reported that it has completed principal design work for a polymerase chain reaction test that would allow researchers to identify certain mutations in a newly detected variant of the COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 virus known as VUI 202012/01.

The new coronavirus strain comprises several mutations that have shown up in the U.K. and may be more contagious than its predecessors.

Dwight Egan, CEO of Co-Diagnostics, said “One of the most important advantages of our CoPrimer platform is its ability to reliably and accurately differentiate between similar genetic sequences, in order to reduce the likelihood of a false positive diagnosis. The multiplexing capabilities of our CoPrimer platform go hand-in-glove with the technology’s applications in detecting small genetic variations in a given gene. As we have demonstrated earlier on during this pandemic, our technology also facilitates rapid test development that we believe could help get testing solutions on the ground quickly as impactful mutations are identified.”

Co-Diagnostics also confirmed that the genetic mutations in the new variant are not believed to interfere with the performance of the company’s existing line of COVID-19 diagnostics, and that any new test developed for this mutation would be a separate product, distinct from the company’s other tests.

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