TOKYO, March 29, 2021 – FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical Corporation (President: Kazuo Shiraki) is pleased to announce the launch of the “N501Y mutation detection kit” and “E484K mutation detection kit” today. The research reagents are based on the One Step RT-qPCR method* to detect SARS-CoV-2 variants at a high sensitivity.
As the COVID-19 pandemic keeps spreading around the world, multiple variants of SARS-CoV-2 are emerging in some countries. Concerns are raised about their infectious ability and effectiveness of vaccines against them. In Japan, variants from the U.K., South Africa and Brazil are gradually spreading. They are highly infectious and are indicated to have an increased risk of re-infection or mitigate the efficacy of vaccines, making it necessary to identify infection channels and contain their spread urgently.
The N501Y mutation detection kit and the E484K mutation detection kit are genetic testing kits that use the One-Step RT-qPCR method to detect SARS-CoV-2 mutations. The N501Y mutation detection kit identifies genes that are commonly seen in multiple variants, including the UK variant. The E484K mutation detection kit identifies genes that are commonly seen in South African and Brazilian variants, excluding UK variant. The N501Y mutation detection kit and the E484K mutation detection kit can be used on the RNA extracted from SARS-CoV-2 positive specimens to determine whether the virus is the original type, UK variant, South African variant, or Brazilian variant.
These kits are designed with Fujifilm’s unique approach to easily detect the E484K mutation, which is considered to be difficult to detect in the One-Step RT-qPCR method. This technology can be applied to a variety of other variants, enabling a quick response when new variants emerge in the future.
FUJIFILM Wako Pure Chemical released a SARS-CoV-2 detection kit to identify the coronavirus’s genes, and it is now used in the Japanese government’s COVID testing programs. Under the corporate mission of ”with commitment to the future of science, our company is dedicated to create the source of happiness for all people,” the company will continue to contribute to programs for identifying the current status of COVID-19 and preventing the further spread of the virus.
* DNA amplification response, using RNA as a template, to continuously run reverse transcription and DNA amplification in the same tube