Genetic Signatures (ASX:GSS) share price leaps 6% on COVID test news

A saliva-based test for detecting the Omicron COVID-19 variant is sending GSS shares soaring today.

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The Genetic Signatures Ltd (ASX: GSS) share price is on the move today after an update on the company's COVID-19 test kit.

Shares in the diagnostics company are swapping hands at $1.77 in afternoon trade, up 6.31%.

Let's take a look at what might be driving this share price increase today.

COVID-19 test update

Genetic Signatures informed the market of an update on the company's flagship 3base EasyScreen SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Detection Kit.

The company advised that the Therapeutic Goods Administration has registered a saliva-based protocol to collect and test patients for COVID-19 using this product.

Genetic Signature cited a recent study out of South Africa finding saliva swabs may be better than mid-turbinate nasal swabs for detecting the Omicron variant in PCR tests. Saliva has a higher viral RNA load than nasal samples, the company said. However, the company conceded the nasal swab is more effective in detecting the Delta variant.

Speaking on the announcement, Genetic Signatures CEO Dr John Melki said:

Our team is driven to provide our customers with the highest quality tests and are constantly looking at ways to improve our products so they remain effective in detecting pathogens.

We are pleased that this study and subsequent registration has been completed so quickly.

With Omicron becoming the dominant strain of the SARS-CoV-2 virus it is likely that this new methodology will be needed to identify all cases of this new variant.

Genetic Signatures said some of its customers have already adopted the new protocol for testing COVID-19 patients. The company's COVID-19 detection kit is able to detect all known variants of the virus.

Share price snapshot

The Genetic Signatures share price has fallen in the past year, down 7.8% compared to the same time last year.

In contrast, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) is returning roughly 10% in the past year.

The company's shares have lifted 37% in the past month.

Genetic Signatures has a market capitalisation of around $238.26 million based on the current share price.

The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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