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Pharmaceuticals

Takara Bio cuts time for 5,000 coronavirus tests to two hours

Japanese biotech company reduces typical 1-day wait for results

Approval is first being sought for the U.S. market, where COVID-19 cases are rapidly growing. (Source photo by Takara Bio)

KYOTO -- Japanese biotechnology company Takara Bio has developed a method to simultaneously process more than 5,000 polymerase chain reaction tests, which can screen for the new coronavirus, in just under two hours.

The new method will allow faster and more large-scale testing than the technique developed by Swiss pharmaceutical Roche. Takara Bio is currently applying for Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and is expected to receive approval soon. The new way of testing will help officials prepare for a much-feared second wave of infections.

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