Biocept Reports an Increase in COVID-19 RT-PCR Testing Volume with Spread of the Omicron Variant


SAN DIEGO– Biocept, Inc. (Nasdaq: BIOC), a leading provider of molecular diagnostic assays, products and services, announces that COVID-19 RT-PCR testing volume has increased in 2022 with the emergence of the Omicron variant. Biocept continues to serve the community with high-quality testing, having received more than 40,000 samples for COVID-19 testing since the beginning of 2022 and more than 765,000 samples since initiating this service in June 2020.

“RT-PCR COVID-19 testing, like the testing we offer, is highly sensitive and more accurate than a rapid antigen test,” said Michael Dugan, MD, Biocept’s Chief Medical Officer and Medical Director. “A person with suspected COVID-19 has a much better chance of having a positive RT-PCR test than the same patient using the antigen test. We actually test for three gene targets of COVID-19, so we are not reliant on just one target gene or protein as used in some other tests. Omicron variant cases notably lose the ‘S gene’ target and can easily be missed by a single gene PCR test or single protein rapid antigen. Most positive cases we are seeing right now have only two of the original three gene targets. These cases can be easily missed with single target tests.”

“Demand for our COVID-19 testing service surged with the emergence of the highly contagious Omicron variant, with most of that demand coming from our skilled nursing facility customers,” said Michael Nall, Biocept’s President and CEO. “We have ample laboratory capacity to perform COVID-19 testing at these higher levels and are working to add staff, as needed. The initial surge in demand from our California community college customers has subsided as many colleges are now requiring most students and staff to be fully vaccinated and are not currently mandating PCR testing for vaccinated individuals. That said, I’m pleased to announce a renewal of our contract with the Foundation for California Community Colleges, which now extends through the end of 2022.

“We are committed to providing COVID-19 RT-PCR testing services to support our community for as long as necessary, while we continue making investments in our oncology business,” he added. “At this time, we cannot predict how long we will see higher volumes for COVID-19 testing or what we might expect as the year progresses.”