Novacyt Launches Test to Differentiate COVID-19 and Flu

PARIS (Reuters) -
A health worker administers a nasal swab to a patient at a testing site for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at the Bassin de la Villette in Paris, France, Tuesday. (Reuters/Gonzalo Fuentes/File Photo)

Clinical diagnostics company Novacyt, one of many health-care companies whose shares have surged during the pandemic, launched a test on Thursday to differentiate between COVID-19 and common winter diseases.

Novacyt said its “Winterplex” test panel included two gene targets specific to COVID-19, as well as gene targets for influenza A&B and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

“We believe Winterplex™ is one of the world’s first approved respiratory test panels that can differentiate between COVID-19 and other common respiratory diseases,” Novacyt CEO Graham Mullis said.

Novacyt said the new product was expected to drive major revenue growth, and Novacyt’s Paris-listed shares rose by around 6% in early trading, with the stock price having already surged by around 1,900% since the start of 2020.

Novacyt’s new polymerase chain reaction (PCR) respiratory test panel is one of many such PCR-type products already on the market, aimed at diagnosing the presence of COVID-19.

The PCR test is the preferred COVID-19 testing method in many countries. It detects the presence of the disease by amplifying its genetic material to a point where it can be spotted by scientists.