Drug firm plans to produce 8,000 test kits daily

Published April 15, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By MB Online
Medical research company Manila HealthTek Inc. said on Tuesday it plans to produce at least 8,000 coronavirus test kits daily.

“It took us several days to do all the manufacturing requirements because of supply chain issues. We’re hoping by next week, we are in full manufacturing swing already,” Dr. Raul Destura, founder and CEO of Manila HealthTek Inc., said in an interview on ANC.

“Since the approval from the FDA [Food and Drugs Administration], we started putting together already the technology,” he added.

Destura also said that as soon as the test kits arrived, it will be distributed to various local government units.

“It’s a challenge getting them to the country because so many countries are looking for the same thing. As soon as it arrives, we will be on full manufacturing capacity and to be able to manufacture 8,000 test (kits) per day,” Destura added.

The FDA announced last April 4 that it has approved for commercial use the Genamplify coronavirus disease-2019 rRT-PCR (real-time polymerase chain reaction) detection kit, which was developed by scientists of the UP-National Institutes of Health (UP-NIH) and funded by the Department of Science and Technology.

This is the first locally made PCR-based COVID-19 test kit approved by the FDA.

The UP-developed test kit adds to the 20 PCR-based test kits and nine rapid antibody test kits authorized by the FDA for use in detecting the coronavirus disease.

The country has started its expanded COVID-19 testing on Monday and is currently using procured test kits from other countries.

“Hopefully we can support the additional needs so it can be a massive testing program,” Destura said.

As of Tuesday, the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the country has reached 5,223. Of those, 335 died and 295 recovered. (With a report from Vanne Terrazola)