TOKYO -- Fujifilm Holdings has started to develop a new testing reagent for the novel coronavirus.
There is a growing risk of a reagent shortage.
Reagents are substances used for analysis and synthesis because of the reactions they cause.
Fujifilm intends to introduce its substance as early as possible.
The subsidiary Fujifilm Wako Pure Chemical is carrying out the development.
The reagent will be used as part of a kit employing the polymerase chain reaction method. This method can take the genes in a saliva or other kind of sample and rapidly replicate them a million- or even billionfold.
This makes it possible to identify whether the virus is present in the sample.
The reagent can be put to use as soon as the development work is complete.
Normally, it takes three or four months to develop a reagent. But since the genome information of the novel coronavirus has already been obtained, there is the possibility that the development work can be expedited.
Fujifilm, however, has not disclosed a timeline for the new reagent.