News | Press Releases

February 27, 2020

Canon Medical to Commence Development of a Rapid Genetic Testing System for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Ohtawara, Japan; February 27, 2020 – Canon Medical Systems Corporation (Canon Medical) announces the start of development of a rapid genetic testing system for the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) reaffirming the company’s commitment to the basic research and development of rapid diagnostic test kits. This project is part of a research program focusing on the development of diagnostic methods for COVID-19 led by the Japan Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED).1)

Canon Medical was selected to participate in this research program in cooperation with Nagasaki University. This was in recognition of Canon Medical’s strength in leveraging the company’s technologies in delivering practical solutions to support medical emergencies, notably by supplying Ebola rapid test kits to the Republic of Guinea in 2015,2) donating Ebola rapid test kits to the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 2019, and through the manufacturing approval and sale of the Genelyzer KIT (a reagent kit for Zika virus RNA testing) in 2018.3)

The test and the reagents developed for COVID-19 RNA testing is based on the LAMP method4) developed by Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd., and are used with a compact isothermal amplified gene fluorescent detector manufactured by Canon Medical to detect the presence of virus. Compared to the conventional test method of real-time PCR, the LAMP method allows for detection of the virus to be performed more easily and quickly, which makes it suitable for testing in local areas where infection is prevalent.

As Japan continues to battle the spread of infectious diseases, with the Tokyo Olympic Games scheduled to commence in July, Canon Medical is committed to the safety and security of society by introducing practical solutions that address acute medical needs through the research and development of rapid genetic testing systems of COVID-19.

About Canon Medical Systems USA, Inc.

Canon Medical Systems USA, Inc., headquartered in Tustin, Calif., markets, sells, distributes and services radiology and cardiovascular systems, including CT, MR, ultrasound, X-ray and interventional X-ray equipment. For more information, visit Canon Medical Systems’ website at

About Canon Medical Systems Corporation

Canon Medical offers a full range of diagnostic medical imaging solutions including CT, X-Ray, Ultrasound, Vascular and MR, as well as a full suite of Healthcare IT solutions, across the globe. In line with our continued Made for Life philosophy, patients are at the heart of everything we do. Our mission is to provide medical professionals with solutions that support their efforts in contributing to the health and wellbeing of patients worldwide. Our goal is to deliver optimum health opportunities for patients through uncompromised performance, comfort and safety features.

At Canon Medical, we work hand in hand with our partners – our medical, academic and research community. We build relationships based on transparency, trust and respect. Together as one, we strive to create industry-leading solutions that deliver an enriched quality of life. For more information, visit the Canon Medical website:

Aquilion and Made for life are trademarks of Canon Medical Systems.

1)         On the AMED website:

2)         Following the outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever in West Africa in 2015, in response to a request from the government of the Republic of Guinea, the Japanese government donated Ebola rapid test kits which were jointly developed by Canon Medical Systems Corporation (formerly Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation) and Nagasaki University.

3)         Trade name: Reagents for Zika Virus RNA Testing

Genelyzer KIT FGNK-0003A

Approval number: 23000EZX00035000

The company obtained approval for the manufacture and sale of this kit in June 2018 based on joint development work with Nagasaki University in two phases of the project “Establishing surveillance system for the risk of outbreaks of emerging and re-emerging insect-borne diseases in Japan and developing comprehensive insect-borne virus control system” (2016, 2017 onward) (research representative: Masahiro Hayashi, National Institute of Infectious Diseases of Japan) in the Research Program on Emerging and Re-emerging Infectious Diseases.

4)         A nucleic acid amplification method known as LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) developed by Eiken Chemical Co., Ltd.