BREAKING NEWS: Philippine-developed COVID-19 Test Kits ready for manufacturing this week

Philippine-developed COVID-19 Test Kits
The GenAmplify Test Kit will be distributed and commercially available by the first week of April 2020. Photo from DOST.

COVID-19 test kits developed in the Philippines are now being readied for manufacturing beginning this week.

The field validation for the GenAmplify COVID-19 testing kits is reportedly wrapping up and is expected to be finished by Wednesday, April 1, 2020, Department of Science and Technology (DOST) Secretary Fortunato de la Peña announced early today, March 30.

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It can be recalled that the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health (UP NIH) presented the test kits in early March and explained that they first needed to be sure of the accuracy of the test kits they developed through field validation, a process that was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The DOST chief also shared that the FDA requirements for Certificate of Product Registration (CPR) will be submitted on Wednesday, April 1 at the latest.

The FDA is expected to release the CPR for the GenAmplify Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) rRT-PCR Detection Kits on Friday, April 3.

Manila HealthTek is reportedly all ready for mass production after having received the first batch of reagents that will be used to start manufacturing the test kits that can accommodate up to 120,000 tests.

DOST announced that the COVID-19 test kits will be distributed to the following hospitals:

  • Philippine General Hospital
  • Makati Medical Center
  • The Medical City
  • Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center
  • Southern Philippines Medical Center
  • Baguio General Hospital

Part of the first batch of the GenAmplify test kits will be used in the field implementation that will be conducted from April 4 to 25.

Another set of testing kits will be sold commercially by Manila HealthTek at around Php 1,300 per kit which is cheaper than the units currently being used in hospitals which cost about Php 8,000.

The Manila HealthTek said they have enough orders from the private sector who intend to donate them in turn to the Department of Health (Philippines) and hospitals.

The GenAmplify COVID-19 Test Kit was developed at the UP NIH by a team of Filipino scientists led by Dr. Raul Destura, who had previously developed the Lab-In-a-Mug Dengue Rapid Diagnostic Test Kit.

SEND CHEERS in the comments below to the UP NIH, Manila HealthTek, DOST, and the teams behind the development and validation of the Philippine-developed GenAmplify COVID-19 Test Kits!

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