Sino Biological announced on April 1, that the company has received support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for the colloidal gold and ELISA based diagnosis of COVID-19. The fund will be used for the development of key antigen and antibody reagents needed for rapid and high throughput detection of SARS-CoV-2 (formerly 2019-nCoV).
This new coronavirus has claimed tens of thousands lives since January and been contracted by hundreds of thousands more. Mounting evidence indicates that early detection and isolation is the key to limit the spread of the virus. Immunodiagnostic assays, in particular colloidal gold method, have unique advantages as it is faster and easier to perform compared with the nucleic acid-based method. The development of these immunodiagnostic assays rely on the availability of quality antigens and antibodies.
Sino Biological is the first company worldwide to offer recombinant proteins of SARS-CoV-2. The company launched the first recombinant spike protein on January 22, 12 days after the sequence is published. Now the company has developed a comprehensive panel of antigens and antibodies for this virus. Some of these reagents have already been used to manufacture NMPA-approved diagnostic kits in China.
Sino Biological will use the support from the Gates Foundation to continue to develop antibody based diagnostic kit. In addition, the company will optimise its scale-up production, enabling sustainable distribution and use of relevant reagents in at-risk populations in both China and the Foundation’s target countries.
“It is the company’s long-standing mission to contribute to public health by providing high quality reagents for biomedical research professionals, especially those working on the detection and treatment of infectious diseases.” Sino Biological CEO, Dr Jie Zhang stated, “We’re grateful to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its generous support of our efforts to develop diagnostic reagents for COVID-19. We think this work will definitely help the prevention and treatment of this deadly disease.”
Image credit: Martin Sanchez