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Roche launches new test to detect fast spreading Omicron sub-variant

FILE PHOTO: Logo of Swiss drugmaker Roche is seen in Basel

ZURICH (Reuters) - Roche has launched a new PCR test to detect a fast-spreading sub-variant of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus, the Swiss drugmaker said on Thursday.

The new test specifically targets the XBB.1.5 Omicron variant and will help researchers closely track the virus’s lineage and provide insights into the epidemiology and impact it has on public health, the company added.

The XBB.1.5 variant is prevalent in the United States and is quickly spreading to other countries, Roche said.

"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 said.

(Reporting by John Revill; Editing by Noele Illien)