Product News: KNAUER subsidiary Das Labor produces SARS-CoV-2 rapid antibody tests in Africa

19 Oct 2020

KNAUER and its new subsidiary, Das Labor, have cooperated in a development partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) to produce reliable coronavirus antibody tests in Sub-Saharan Africa. The new production unit in Côte d’Ivoire will be one of the first facilities in Africa to produce SARS-CoV-2 rapid antibody tests for use on the African continent. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the partnership of Das Labor with GIZ via its program.

The production plant is pre-installed in Germany and enables quality-assured production according to German standards. It will be set up in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, and will allow the production of up to 5.000 tests per day. The project will create 15 jobs in Abidjan, and the employees will be intensively trained for their work. 

Antibody tests are used to detect a progressed or past COVID-19 infection. Thus, they can help decision-makers to determine how the pandemic is developing in different communities and to adapt their policies accordingly. Antibody tests can also provide information on the potential immunity of test persons and populations. Large-scale SARS-CoV-2 antibody testing campaigns are being conducted frequently in several European countries. The tests are intended for use by qualified personnel and allow reliable test results within 10 minutes. Within the framework of this initiative, a minimum of 50 percent of produced tests will be offered to the public health sector of Côte d’Ivoire and further African countries at cost price without profit. 

“We are very delighted that we start this interesting and challenging project with support of the GIZ and the program of the BMZ. In a short period of time, we have been able to develop a solid and sustainable concept and we are very much looking forward to its implementation. A first validation of our rapid tests in West Africa was extremely successful and we are aiming for approval in further countries to be able to distribute tests beyond the borders of Côte d'Ivoire.”, said Tom Halgasch, managing director of 'Das Labor. GmbH'.

Alexandra Knauer, CEO and owner of KNAUER, stated: "I am very pleased and proud that KNAUER currently cooperates not only with global pharmaceutical partners that work on the development of COVID-19 vaccines. We are now also very much involved in the production of antibody tests in Côte d’Ivoire. I feel that helping in this Corona crisis is an important task. The availability of tests and a professional analysis of results can help to fight the spread of Corona effectively." 

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