Japan's Shionogi partners with universities to develop visual coronavirus test

(Reuters) - Shionogi & Co Ltd said it is partnering with Japanese universities to develop a saliva test for coronavirus that can yield visual results in 25 minutes.

The method, known as SATIC, involves heating a sample of saliva and adding it to a reagent that changes color to indicate the presence of viruses, according to a news release by the company on Monday. Patients can take their own samples, and readings can be made without detector equipment.

The accuracy of the tests are equivalent to those by polymerise chain reaction (PCR) tests, the company said. Shionogi is licensing the technology from Nihon University, Gunma University, and Tokyo Medical University.

Japan approved saliva-based tests for the coronavirus earlier this month, offering a safer, simpler way to diagnose infection than nasal swabs.

(This story corrects name of method in second paragraph to SATIC, not STATIC)

(Editing by Kim Coghill)