US-based diagnostic healthcare company Quidel has announced that its antigen tests are capable of detecting the newly discovered Covid-19 variant, Omicron.

In the recent testing of samples from South Africa, its QuickVue At-Home OTC Covid-19 Test, and Sofia SARS Antigen FIA have shown to detect the Omicron variant.

According to preliminary data from RADx laboratory studies, QuickVue antigen tests can detect the Omicron variant with similar performance as with other variants.

The RADx laboratory used heat-inactivated Omicron samples in the preliminary testing, and has also completed the additional testing using live virus.

Quidel is planning to enhance its weekly manufacturing of Covid-19 antigen tests, to make the Covid-19 testing affordable to communities.

Quidel president and CEO Douglas Bryant said: “At Quidel, we continuously monitor the evolution and activity of Covid-19 variants in circulation, and the Omicron variant is no exception.

“Quidel has been, and will continue to be, vigilant in evaluating our assays with both genetic sequencing and real-world virus sample studies to assure customers of our products’ efficacy as the coronavirus evolves.”

Quidel offers rapid diagnostic testing solutions, cellular-based virology assays and molecular diagnostic systems, under brand names Sofia, Solana, Lyra, Triage and QuickVue.

Its product portfolio includes tests for a wide range of infectious diseases, cardiac and autoimmune biomarkers, along with products to detect Covid-19.

Recently, Quidel has agreed to acquire pure-play in vitro diagnostics (IVD) company Ortho Clinical Diagnostics for a total consideration of around $6bn.

Under the terms of the agreement, Quidel will acquire Ortho’s common stock by paying $24.68 per share, in addition to paying $1.75bn in cash.

Ortho is engaged in providing products and services to the global clinical laboratory and immuno-haematology communities.

Its product portfolio comprises Vitros XT 7600 and Vitros 5600 integrated immunodiagnostic systems, and Vitros 3600 and Vitros ECiQ immunoassay systems.

The combined entity is expected to have expanded access to immunoassay, molecular diagnostics, immunohematology, donor screening, and point-of-care diagnostics offerings.