Roche Introduces Test To Detect Contagious XBB.1.5 Omicron Sub-Variant

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  • Roche Holding Ltd RHHBF RHHBY and its subsidiary TIB Molbiol have developed a COVID-19 PCR test for researchers that detects and differentiates the latest variant of concern, XBB.1.5.
  • The XBB.1.5 Omicron sub-variant is prevalent in the U.S. and quickly spreads to other countries.
  • Being able to differentiate emerging variants and understand their similarities and mutations provides a basis for experts to make predictions about their spread and respond with appropriate treatment strategies. 
  • "Roche continues to develop timely diagnostic innovations related to COVID-19 by providing valuable insights - helping scientists and physicians understand this new strain, how it differs from other variants, and the impact it may have on public health," said Matt Sause, CEO of Roche Diagnostics.
  • The research-use-only test, VirSNiP SARS-CoV-2 Spike F486P, adds to the broad suite of COVID-19 test kits developed by Roche and TIB Molbiol. 
  • Roche's Q3 FY22 sales reached CHF14.74 billion, down 6% Y/Y due to lower sales from COVID-19 treatments and diagnostics.
  • "The third quarter of 2022 was particularly challenging due to base effects, as the demand for COVID-19 medicines and tests was exceptionally high in the same quarter of 2021," the company said.
  • "Despite an increasing incidence rate for COVID-19, actually, we don't see an increase in the demand for COVID-19-related products," CEO Severin Schwan said.
  • Price Action: RHHBY shares closed at $40.05 on Wednesday.
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