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Coronavirus

Japan startup to analyze 6,000 COVID samples per day for variants

Backed by University of Tsukuba, iLAC's huge capacity is a game-changer

iLAC has adapted the system for cancer genomics to develop one that can detect new coronavirus variants.

TOKYO -- A health-tech startup developed by Japan's University of Tsukuba will begin to analyze up to 6,000 COVID-19 samples from Thursday to help detect and curb the spread of more contagious variants.

Named iLAC, the startup's processing capacity is one of the biggest in the country. It is hoped the company will be able to find variants of the coronavirus that may be more resistant to vaccines, which will allow authorities to contain any spread of such. The company will collaborate with the Ministry of Health and share information with the National Institute of Infectious Diseases.

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