Canon Medical to begin development of rapid genetic testing system for COVID-19

March 2, 2020

Canon Medical Systems Corporation announced the start of development of a rapid genetic testing system for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reaffirming the company’s commitment to the basic research and development of rapid diagnostic test kits. This project is part of a research program focusing on the development of diagnostic methods for COVID-19 led by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).

Canon Medical was selected to participate in this research program in cooperation with Nagasaki University. This was in recognition of Canon Medical’s strength in leveraging the company’s technologies in delivering practical solutions to support medical emergencies, notably by supplying Ebola rapid test kits to the Republic of Guinea in 2015, donating Ebola rapid test kits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, and through the manufacturing approval and sale of the Genelyzer KIT (a reagent kit for Zika virus RNA testing) in 2018.

The test and the reagents developed for COVID-19 RNA testing is based on the LAMP method developed by Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd., and are used with a compact isothermal amplified gene fluorescent detector manufactured by Canon Medical to detect the presence of virus. Compared to the conventional test method of real-time PCR, the LAMP method allows for detection of the virus to be performed more easily and quickly, which makes it suitable for testing in local areas where infection is prevalent.

As Japan continues to battle the spread of infectious diseases, with the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled to commence in July, Canon Medical is committed to the safety and security of society by introducing practical solutions that address acute medical needs through the research and development of rapid genetic testing systems of COVID-19.

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