Medical technology firm Hologic has announced that its three SARS-CoV-2 tests hold the potential to identify Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

The Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), which was initially detected in South Africa and later in multiple African, European and North American countries, consists of around 30 mutations.

From over 175 Omicron-infected samples obtained through GISAID (Global Initiative On Sharing All Influenza Data), the company carried out an analysis of genetic sequences.

The analysis has shown that none of the new mutations occur within regions of the genome targeted by company’s Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay, Aptima SARS-CoV-2/Flu assay or Panther Fusion SARS-CoV-2 assay, said Hologic.

In addition, the firm has obtained data from clinical users in Europe, which indicated that the Aptima SARS-CoV-2 assay has identified Omicron COVID-19 infections in samples from inbound air travelers.

Hologic diagnostic solutions division president Kevin Thornal said: “We fully expect that SARS-CoV-2 will continue to evolve, as that is the natural path for viruses.

“We designed our assays with this in mind, and as a result, we are confident that the Omicron variant will not impact the performance of our assays.”

Hologic’s fully automated Panther and Panther Fusion systems are used to run Aptima and Panther Fusion tests.

With a capacity to process over 1,000 tests in 24 hours, the systems are said to deliver initial results in around three hours.

Hologic stated that it has delivered over 130 million SARS-CoV-2 assays to its laboratory customers and installed over 2,700 Panther systems in clinical diagnostic laboratories across the world.

In November last year, Hologic received a $119m contract from the US government to increase the production capacity of its Covid-19 molecular tests.