(Berlin) – “The life science research and diagnostics industries are ready to fight the further outbreak of the coronavirus.” This explains Ulrich Schmid, CEO of the Association of the Diagnostics Industry (VDGH) in view of the current situation. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 90,000 people worldwide are currently infected with the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is responsible for more than 2,900 deaths. The pathogen is likely to spread worldwide.
The availability of precise, quick and easy-to-use laboratory tests is a prerequisite for identifying cases of infection, initiating medical measures and reducing further spread. The diagnostics industry is developing corresponding tests at full speed. Around ten companies are now producing tests for the corona virus. These are made available to the healthcare system through the normal way of placing them on the market (CE marking), through a national special approval from the Federal Office for Medical Devices and Drug Safety (BfArM) or as research reagents.
A sufficiently large number of medical laboratories in Germany can detect the virus. If there is a corresponding indication, the statutory health insurance companies will reimburse you to carry out a laboratory test for the coronavirus. “Our industry is prepared to ramp up production capacity should this become necessary due to a significant increase in testing,” says Schmid. The companies deliver detection methods and test kits to the affected areas – worldwide.
Technologies from the life science research industry (LSR) have enabled researchers to quickly characterize and classify the corona virus. The Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) developed by LSR companies plays a central role here. The test kits of the diagnostics industry contain u. a. So-called “primers”, artificial, precise building blocks for the genome of the corona virus, which were derived from the original viral genome sequencing and enable the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2. Based on the saliva or cough secretion of the patient, the pathogen is tested using the “real-time RT-PCR” (reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction), a molecular diagnostic method of detection that was also developed by the LSR industry and is good for everyone equipped laboratory is possible. Researchers or medical professionals can use fluorescence-labeled PCR products to identify in real time whether a chain reaction is being triggered while the test is running and in the shortest possible time. It is the confirmation that it is actually SARS-CoV-2.
By promptly researching the corona virus, the LSR industry also supports the development and manufacture of a possible vaccine.
“Immediately after the first infection in China became known, the LSR and diagnostics industry demonstrated their innovative strength and speed of reaction,” said Schmid. The VDGH guarantees close cooperation between industry and national and international authorities when it comes to the provision of reagents and test equipment.
Source and contact address:
(VDGH) Association of Diagnostics Industry e.V.
Gabriele Köhne, Head of Press and Communication
Neustadtische Kirchstr. 8, 10117 Berlin
Telephone: (030) 20059940, fax: (030) 20059949