To cope with the Coronavirus pandemic, Eurogentec and the University of Namur collaborate to perform up to 5 million diagnostic tests.
Seraing, Belgium, April 1st 2020 .
To cope with the Coronavirus pandemic, the World Health Organization insists on the need for more diagnostic tests. However, faced with the shortage of reagents which prevents enough testing, Belgium is organizing. A "task force" has been set up under the leadership of the Minister De Backer (Open VLD). The goal of this “task force” is to increase diagnostic capacity by encouraging collaboration between hospitals, clinical biology laboratories, universities and the private sector.
The most concrete short-term way to increase the number of screening tests is the one provided by the University of Namur, which has developed a technique making possible to dispense with reagents in shortage. However, this new technique requires more manpower work than the traditional one, using machines. The protocol implemented by UNamur is based on a manual extraction process of the genetic code of the virus, which requires similar reagents but can be used manually by laboratory workers. This protocol is also being validated in several hospitals.
To supply the necessary reagents for these tests, the University of Namur turned to a company of Liège, Eurogentec.
"Thanks to our manufacturing site in Great Britain and our main site in Liège, we can supply in the coming weeks doses of qPCR reagent to perform up to 5 million diagnostic tests. It will depend on the quantity of tests to be performed" , says Lieven Janssens, CEO of Eurogentec. He specifies with pride that "Eurogentec is collaborating in international efforts to develop a vaccine against the Covid-19" .
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