Ithaca-based company says its COVID-19 test kit will detect new Omicron variant

Local News

ITHACA, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)– While it’s still unclear whether our current vaccines will fight off the new Omicron variant, a manufacturing company in Tompkins County says its COVID-19 detection technology will identify the new strain.

“In the media, you hear about Delta, Omicron, in the science world there are actually tens of thousands of variants that are being published all the time, so we’re continuously evaluating by computer are there mutations in the genetic sequences that we’re looking at that would impact our ability to actually identify the virus,” Founder and CEO of Rheonix, Greg Galvin said.

And Galvin said the answer to that question is no, the company’s technology is still able to detect the genetic sequence that makes up the Omicron variant. 

“Omicron I mean from our standpoint was kind of no different than all the others before it, it’s getting a lot more attention because it has a very high degree of mutation compared to the previous ones,” Galvin said. 

But to date every new variant Rheonix has come across it’s been able to detect and they’re not the only ones.

“All of the tests in the market do the same kind of thing, so I think from a public health issue we’re in good shape detecting this variant versus any of the other variants that have occurred.”

GREG GALVIN, RHEONIX FOUNDER AND CEO

And while supply chain issues have caused delays for some bigger testing companies, Galvin said they’ve actually been able to ramp up manufacturing. 

“One of the things we’ve done is really focused on supplying the smaller and regional healthcare facilities such as the hospitals in Central New York that are underserved by some of our much, much, much, larger competitors and been able to create the ability for our local communities to get same-day testing which was not available to them in the early stages of the pandemic.”

GREG GALVIN, RHEONIX FOUNDER AND CEO

Helping to ensure that Central New York will be ready to detect and fight off this new variant if and when it comes to the region. 

Rheonix has also recently created a test that would detect both the Flu and COVID-19 with one swab. It’s currently awaiting FDA approval.

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