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April 9, 2020

By Chloe Kent

9 April

Royal Philips has partnered with the US government to boost the manufacture of hospital ventilators to aid in the treatment of Covid-19 patients. The company aims to double production by May and then increase it four times over by the third quarter of this year. Philips has planned to invest tens of millions in its US ventilator manufacturing sites.

Infectious diseases testing laboratory Viracor Eurofins has received Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its Clinical Diagnostics’ molecular laboratory-developed test (LDT). Viracor SARS-CoV-2 assay is a polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test that is used to detect viral RNA of SARS-CoV-2 in Covid-19 patients’ nasopharyngeal swab, nasal swab, nasopharyngeal wash, nasal wash, oropharyngeal swab and bronchoalveolar lavage.

Novacyt has announced its collaboration with AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge under the UK Government’s five pillar plan to boost Covid-19 testing. AstraZeneca, GSK and the University of Cambridge will set up a testing laboratory at the Anne McLaren laboratory in the university. The high throughput Covid-19 screening will be carried out at the facility alongside with a study on the use of alternative chemical reagents for test kits amid supply shortages. Novacyt will be responsible for the effective workflow process in the facility and will offer its Covid-19 PCR test for generating results data.

BGI and Etopia have designed an inflatable mobile P2 level biosafety laboratory for Covid-19. This lab was first installed at the Shenzhen National GeneBank on 3 April. The laboratory, named Huo-Yan Air Lab, has a modular air dome structure and offers easy transport via air in a commercial passenger plane.  Additionally, it can also be constructed and deployed quickly to aid the authorities to screen and detect Covid-19, which will in turn help countries to tackle the pandemic.

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