All hands on deck to fight this virus
With consumer sales slumping because of the worldwide pandemic caused by COVID-19, Canon is leaping to the challenge of creating a rapid diagnostic test to combat the new disease.
Canon Medical Systems Corporation has begun the development of a rapid genetic testing system for the novel coronavirus.
Canon has a history of providing test kits for highly infectious diseases, as they developed and provided test kits for both Ebola and Zika during the outbreak of the diseases in the past few years.
Here’s the official statement from the company:
Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, today announced that Canon Medical Systems Corporation (Canon Medical) announced the start of the development of a rapid genetic testing system for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), reaffirming Canon Medical’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.
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 its technologies in delivering practical solutions to support medical emergencies, notably by supplying Ebola rapid test kits to the Republic of Guinea in 20152, 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 being developed for COVID-19 RNA testing is based on the LAMP method developed by Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd., and are to be used with a compact isothermal amplified gene fluorescent detector manufactured by Canon Medical to detect the presence of the virus. Compared to the conventional test method of real-time PCR, the LAMP method allows for the detection of the virus to be performed more easily and quickly, which makes it suitable for testing in local areas where the infection is prevalent.