Manila Healthtek boosts healthcare technologies

Published May 20, 2022, 5:18 AM

by Emmie V. Abadilla

Private Research and Development (R&D) firm Manila Healthtek Inc. (MTek), the first ever spin-off from the University of the Philippines (UP), just launched a new subsidiary, GenAmplify Technologies, Inc. (GTI), to bring more health-related technologies to Filipinos.


GTI took its name from MTek’s flagship coronavirus disease test kit and specifically aims to make diagnostics products affordable and accessible to all, according to CEO

Atty. Marlo Destura.

“This is a mission it carries from its parent company, MTek,” he pointed out.

At present, “The cost of molecular diagnostics is very prohibitive in the country. As clinicians’ partners in delivering much-needed tools to make precision diagnostics and deliver personalized treatments, we must always strive to find ways of fulfilling this,” the CEO explained.

GTI’s strategy is to expand the services of specialized COVID laboratories that have sprung throughout the country during the pandemic by including testing for other diseases.

“There are more than 200 molecular diagnostic laboratories in the country which already have PCR machines that we can tap,” according to Destura.

“If we can utilize all of them, this would significantly lower the cost of testing in the country and will also reduce the timeframe and inconvenience for families.”

The Philippines’ medical device and diagnostics market is lucrative, with much room for growth, at $227 million, or almost P12 Billion, and a projected growth rate of 10.7 percent, according to analysts.

Globally, the point of care and rapid diagnostics market was placed at USD 43.2 billion, or P2.264 Trillion, in 2022 and expected to reach USD 72.0 billion, or P3.8 Trillion, by 2027.

The increasing prevalence of respiratory diseases, such as COVID-19 and influenza, plus improved access to point-of-care devices through online platforms are among the key factors driving the long-term growth of the market, analysts maintained.

GTI will manufacture and distribute high-quality, accurate kits and devices related to diagnostic testing for communicable and non-communicable diseases.

This includes MTek’s Biotek-M Dengue Aqua Kit, a gold medalist at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland in 2018, and the Philippine-developed GenAmplify Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) RT-PCR test kit.

It will also market the GenAmplify African Swine Fever PCR Detection Kit, a testing platform for African Swine Fever or ASF.

Aside from marketing products developed by MTek, the company is also looking at sourcing from manufacturers outside the country quality rapid diagnostic kits that would respond to current needs of the country.