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Precision equipment maker Shimadzu Corp. said Friday it has started selling an automated COVID-19 test device priced much lower than similar products sold by other companies.

The Kyoto-based firm expects that the ¥2.09 million price tag will make the new AutoAmp polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test device more affordable for small hospitals and quarantine offices. Similar machines are sold for around ¥4 million, according to Shimadzu.

The device, 30 centimeters wide and 66 cm high, can process four specimens at a time, it said. Shimadzu has set an annual sales target of 3,000 units.

Shimadzu said it is aiming to expand in coming years in the areas of diagnostics and products to support new drug development.

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