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Singapore biotech firm Veredus will have Wuhan virus test ready by Feb 1

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The kit is a portable lab-on-chip application that will be able to detect the Wuhan coronavirus as well as the Sars and Mers viruses with "high specificity and sensitivity", Veredus said.

HOMEGROWN biotech firm Veredus Laboratories on Friday announced it is developing a test for the Wuhan virus.

The VereCoV detection kit is expected to be commercially available by Feb 1 this year, said Singapore-based Veredus, which was previously indirectly owned by Temasek Holdings. (see amendment note)

The kit is a portable lab-on-chip application that will be able to detect the Wuhan coronavirus as well as the Sars and Mers viruses with "high specificity and sensitivity", Veredus noted.

Rosemary Tan, chief executive officer of Veredus, said this will be one of the first commercially available kits in the world with the capability to detect, differentiate and identify all three coronaviruses in a single test in about two hours.

"Time-to-market is crucial as it addresses the need for a fast and easy-to-use detection method," she added.

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Veredus Laboratories' products include chips that test for the Zika and Dengue viruses. The company was started by Dr Tan in 2003, and is now owned by Japanese plastics giant Sekisui Chemical.

Temasek-backed Advanced MedTech (formerly  Accuron MedTech), a medical device maker and medtech investor, had sold its 51 per cent stake in Veredus to Sekisui back in April 2018.

Amendment note: The company has clarified on Friday afternoon that the test will be available by Feb 1 instead of Q1 as it had initially stated. The article has been updated.

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