Monkeypox: Roche, Abbott developing tests for virus

Companies are working to develop tests for monkeypox as the virus spreads across the globe.

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Abbott Laboratories said Thursday that it is working to develop a test that it would then provide to partners of its Pandemic Defense Coalition, a spokesperson told Reuters.

Abbott’s announcement comes one day after Roche announced it had developed three kits to detect the virus, CNBC reported. Roche, which is based in Switzerland, said one test detects orthopoxviruses, which is the grouping associated with monkeypox, as well as smallpox and cowpox. The second test detects only monkeypox and is specific to West African and Central African Strains, CNBC reported. The third, designed for researchers, detects both orthopoxviruses and the monkeypox virus.

>> Read: CDC identifies 9 cases of monkeypox cases in 7 states

A third company, Co-Diagnostics Inc., announced Thursday that it is working towards a PCR test for monkeypox which will feature the company’s patented “CoPrimer” technology, MarketWatch reported.

“One of the most important lessons the world learned following the COVID-19 pandemic is the importance of quick, decisive action in the face of any potential outbreak of transmissible viruses,” Dwight Egan, the company’s chief executive, told MarketWatch. “We look forward to eventually making this test available in affected regions as needed to help slow the spread of the virus through early and accurate detection.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommend testing for monkeypox in facilities with recently vaccinated personnel, personal protective equipment, and appropriate diagnostic assays. There are currently no commercial tests for the virus available.