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Russia registers its first coronavirus express test

The result for one specimen should be ready within 1 hour, according to the company

VLADIMIR, April 6. /TASS/. The Generium bio-pharmaceutical company, located in Russia’s Vladimir Region, has registered the first Russian-made coronavirus infection express test, developed by the Medical Biological Union Group, the company announced Monday.

"Generium’s innovative coronavirus express test, developed by the Medical Biological Union company, has been registered by the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare. This is the first domestic-made express test, which enables the detection of the coronavirus with 94% precision within 40 minutes using standard equipment," the company claimed.

The company explained that, unlike other tests, based on the polymerase chain reaction, the new test system uses the loop mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) method. Its implementation reduces the analysis time by more than 66%, and also reduces the chance of an accidental specimen switch thanks to the reduced number of preparation stages.

"The preliminary processing takes about 35 minutes, and the amplification will take another 25 minutes. Therefore, the result for one specimen should be ready within 1 hour," the press service said, adding that the test is already being shipped to Russia’s regions.

"On Friday, April 3, the tests were shipped to 16 initial regions. Every day, we ship the system to new regions, and we plan to cover 80-90% of the country by the end this week," the source said.

The company plans to produce up to 500,000 tests per week.

"Our current [production] capabilities are minimal right now, but we plan to increase it to 500,000 tests per week," the source said, without providing additional details.

About the companies

The Medical Biological Union Group specializes in development and production of infection disease diagnosis kits, including for socially hazardous infections, such as HIV.

Generium is a Russian company that develops and produces biotech drugs. The company includes a research center and a production plant for genetically engineered drugs and a cellular products research and production center. In 2018, the producer received a state award for creating a medicine to treat hemophilia. Today, the company produces eight drugs and two test systems. More than 30 medications are under development, some of which have no analogues abroad.