Pharmaceutical company SANDOZ donated CZK 500,000 to BIOCEV for coronavirus testing
The CZK 500,000 donation is designated for the purchase of test sets to detect SARS-Cov-2, laboratory plasticware and devices, pipettes, chemicals, and enzymes. To date, over 3,000 samples from hospitals and retirement homes have been tested in the BIOCEV centre. The daily capacity is 320 samples.
Over one hundred volunteers from among the centre’s pool of employees have enrolled in the large-capacity testing process at BIOCEV. They have been helping both with infectious and non-infectious materials, isolation and RNA manipulation, the PCR method, administration and logistics. Tests are being performed by the virological laboratories and research infrastructure of the First Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Science at Charles University (note: the official beneficiary of the financial aid provided by SANDOZ), and at the Biotechnology Institute and the Institute of Molecular Genetics at the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
“We are very grateful for the donation. When the testing started, we had to primarily use equipment and supplies of chemicals and plasticware from own laboratories. Naturally, we need to restock these supplies for our own research projects and the donation will help us to do it. At the same time, the financial aid will enable us to provide free testing to BIOCECV employees. I believe that blanket employee testing before their return to the BIOCEV laboratories is very important from the epidemiological perspective,” says RNDr. Ruth Tachezy, Ph.D., the main testing coordinator at BIOCEV.
“Under the current situation, we as a pharmaceutical company are fully aware of our mission and the importance of supporting activities that help address pressing public health issues related to the COVID 19 pandemic. Other projects that we have been implementing include a global fund to support health care and research facilities that are helping to fight the COVID 19 outbreak. In the Czech Republic, we have decided to join several key cross-sectoral research and development initiatives,” says Mgr. Jiří Hanzlík, Country Head Czech, Sandoz, and he continues: “We have chosen the BIOCEV laboratories to increase the level of COVID19 testing and to contribute towards the research of validation methods for both the direct or indirect detection of SARS-CoV2. The centre is a guarantee that the latest available research methods will allow for a sufficient population screening in the Czech Republic and will help to slow down the spread of COVID 19.
SANDOZ Czech Republic is a business organization dealing, among other things, with the sale of human medications in the Czech Republic and is part of the Novartis Group. More information can be found at www.sandoz.cz