23.03.2020 change 23.03.2020

Prototype Coronavirus Test Developed in Poznań

Credit: Fotolia Credit: Fotolia

A proprietary prototype coronavirus test has been developed by scientists at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry in Poznań.

The test is based exclusively on reagents from Polish suppliers and the institute's in-house production, the institute director Professor Marek Figlerowicz announced at a press conference.

In connection with the epidemiological threat and the need to extend the coronavirus diagnostics, scientists at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Polish Academy of Sciences used its resources to support the Provincial Sanitary and Epidemiological Station in the city. They also offered assistance in organizing additional diagnostic centres in Poland.

The institute’s director Professor Marek Figlerowicz said: “We set up five stations needed to perform this type of research at the Institute, and on the same day we did 180 tests. In addition, over the following two days of doing these tests, we figured out how we could make such a test in Poland ourselves, so that if there were problems, we would be able to produce such tests in larger quantities with the help of two Polish companies.

“This morning when I came to the institute, I could see the first results of this test, and they were consistent with the results of competing tests. You could say that we have already developed a prototype test."

He added that the chances of preparing the tests on a larger scale were “very high.” 

He said: “This test consists of certain elements that are universal and available. We found a Polish company that can supply these elements.

“The core, i.e. TaqMan probes, which are used to specifically search for these viral genomes and confirm that they are there, can be produced at the institute in any quantities necessary. But more resources are needed for this. Everything we have done so far, all these diagnostic tests, as well as this prototype test, we have done as volunteers without any external support.”

After the initial stages of virus isolation from material collected from patients has taken place at the Epidemiological Station, the secured samples are sent to the institute where further diagnostic steps are carried out under the supervision of the Epidemiological Station employees.

The laboratories of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry PAS have the same safety class (BSL II) as the State Sanitary Inspection laboratories. The tests are processed by researchers and PhD students of the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry PAS who have experience in this type of analysis. As part of the 'virus support group', 40 persons currently work in shifts. 180 tests are processed daily. Ultimately, up to 270 tests per day could be processed.

PAP - Science in Poland, Anna Jowsa, Szymon Kiepel

ajw/ szk/ agt/ kap/

tr. RL

Copyright © Foundation PAP 2020