With the support of a new tech transfer collaboration with two multinational biotech companies, the Pasteur Institute in Senegal plans to offer quick antigen testing for identifying SARS-CoV-2 in patients starting in early 2022.
The Dakar-based Institute will collaborate with Bionote, a South Korean company that develops COVID-19 diagnostics, and Mologic, a British biotech that is scheduled to be acquired by a Bill Gates-backed consortium.
Antigen testing typically takes 15 minutes to identify whether or not a person is infected, however PCR testing can take days depending on the number of cases being tested.
For people who exhibit symptoms, rapid antigen tests are considered a “first line of defense” against the coronavirus.
When compared to other testing methods, such as PCR testing, these tests are simpler and faster. According to a research by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, they are not as accurate as PCR testing (CDC).
Under the terms of the agreement, the Pasteur Institute’s DiaTROPIX a diagnostic test production unit created in November would get technology and experience for making COVID-19 tests from South Korean and British pharmaceutical companies.
DiaTROPIX plans to apply for regulatory approval in Senegal to transfer the tests from Mologic and Bionote and commercialize them under its own brand.
According to the announcement, it expects to conduct 2.5 million tests every month by 2022.
According to Mamadou Ndiaye, a spokeswoman for Senegal’s health ministry, the country is currently experiencing an unprecedented spike of COVID-19 infections. On July 14, a new daily case record of 733 infections was observed.
The partnership’s goal is to increase COVID-19 testing and detection across Africa.