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12th February 2020  Editorial by: Paul Carton

Roche Distribute Tib-Molbiol Wuhan Coronavirus Assays for RNAP, Envelope and Nucleocapid Genes

Roche Diagnostics are now distributing Tib-Molbiol's 2019-nCoV Real-Time Reverse Transcription PCR Kit worldwide. The LightMix® modular novel coronavirus assay developed by Tib-Molbiol is compatible with the Roche Light Cyler 480 series and the Magna Pure24 instruments and is being marketed for research use only (RUO). In the early days of the novel coronavirus being discovered, Tib-Miolbiol responded quickly to the urgent need for a diagnostic kit and were responsible for synthesizing and suppling the original oligonucleotides that were used in WHO's first protocol for the 'Diagnostic detection of Wuhan coronavirus 2019 by real-time RT-PCR'. Roche are also in the process of developing its own diagnostic kit but has yet to announce its date of release. 

The Tib-Molbiol LightMix modular assays can identify and confirm the presence of the novel coronavirus through three separate assays. This set includes a test for the detection of the Wuhan E-gene2; the gene responsible for the envelope protein in both SARS and Wuhan 2019 pneumonia virus. The set also consists of the Wuhan RdRP (RNA-dependent RNA polymerase) assay; specific for the detection of Wuhan Coronavirus. And finally, it contains an assay to detect the Wuhan N-gene3; the gene which encodes the Nucleocapsid which is present in the Wuhan Coronavirus as well as other SARS-related viruses. 

Tib-Molbiol has a history in responding quickly to growing epidemics. In 2005 Tib-Molbiol released their first LightMix ® kit for the detection of avian influenza A H5N1.

The Roche certified LightMix ® kits contain premixed primers and hybridization probes, positive controls and instructions. A Roche master mix is ​​also required.

In a press release, a spokesperson for Roche said: "Roche is working with Chinese health authorities and the government to ensure people can get access to screening and healthcare. We are also working to support the government and local health officials and hospitals in Hubei Province in dealing with the coronavirus. Recently, Roche has donated diagnostic tests, medical supplies and financial support for the affected region. We are ready to do whatever we can to further assist China and the Chinese people to deal with this difficult situation."



Date Published: 12th February 2020

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