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Japanese precision equipment maker Shimadzu Corp. said Thursday that it has developed a polymerase chain reaction reagent that can detect infection with a novel coronavirus variant spreading in India.

It is believed to be the first reagent from a Japanese company that reacts to the Indian variant.

The reagent can detect variants containing the L452R mutation, also including a variant found in California.

Shimadzu has also developed a PCR reagent for the E484K mutation, found in variants spreading in South Africa, Brazil and the Philippines.

Sales are slated to start in June for both products.

Meanwhile, the company on the same day launched a reagent that reacts to the N501Y mutation, seen in British and other variants. PCR tests based on the reagent use saliva or mucous collected from the nose or throat and results can be obtained in about an hour.

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