NEW YORK, April 28 - A Roche Diagnostics spokesman confirmed today that the company plans to launch a diagnostic test for the coronavirus that causes SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) by the end of July.
An earlier report on the company's plans from Reuters is "pretty much on track," the spokesman told GenomeWeb.
The test, expected to be developed by the middle of June and on the market by the end of July, will be based on the company's real-time PCR technology and will run on Roche's LightCycler PCR system.
Roche said it has an installed base of 3,000 LightCycler systems in laboratories around the world.
According to the Reuters report, Roche has already begun collecting SARS samples from hundreds of infected people across Asia.
A number of other companies are developing PCR-based diagnostics for SARS, prompting the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to urge accuracy over speed in the race to develop tests for the quickly spreading disease.
Roche plans to "work closely" with the CDC and the FDA to ensure the accuracy of its diagnostic, the spokesman said.
GenomeWeb/Newsletters' coverage of SARS
Canadian Team Sequencing SARS Virus (Apr 9, 2003)
CDC Hails SARS Virus Sequencing, Discusses PCR Diagnostic Development (Apr 14, 2003)
CDC Completes SARS Virus Genome Draft On Heels of Canadian Team (April 14, 2003)
Canadian Team Leader: SARS Coronavirus Genome Has 11 Novel ORFs (April 15, 2003)
CombiMatrix Creates Microarray Based on SARS Genome Data (April 16, 2003)
Coronavirus Linked to SARS: WHO (April 16, 2003)
Singapore Genome Institute Joins SARS Sequencing Fray (April 16, 2003)
CombiMatrix's Ali Arjomand on Developing a SARS Microarray (BioArray News, April 25, 2003)