‘Biodiagnostic – Das Labor. SAS’, an Ivorian subsidiary of the German ‘Das Labor. GmbH’, starts its rapid test production in Côte d’Ivoire.
The new production facility is currently being built in the VITIB free trade zone just outside Abidjan. It is the first facility in Sub-Saharan Africa to produce SARS CoV-2 antigen rapid tests for use on the African continent.
In the coming months, the company will initially produce SARS-CoV-2 antigen and antibody rapid tests. The tests are intended for use by qualified professionals and provide reliable test results within 10 minutes.
The production of the SARS-CoV-2 rapid tests shall start before the end of 2020. Other products are expected to proceed. Among others, an Ebola rapid test is part of the company’s product portfolio.
“We are delighted to have received the authorisation to set up our production line in Côte d’Ivoire. The production plant has been pre-installed in Germany, our staff is being intensively trained and a quality management system is being established which is fully integrated into the ISO-certified quality management system of our German partner company ‘Senova Gesellschaft für Biowissenschaft und Technik mbH’. This approach ensures quality-controlled production in the Ivory Coast according to German standards. Therefore, the rapid tests produced meet the highest quality standards and guarantee safe, fast and cost-effective test results” explains Tom Halgasch, CEO of Das Labor. GmbH.
The establishment of the production plant is implemented within the framework of a development partnership with GIZ. The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) supports the partnership of ‘Das Labor. GmbH’ with GIZ through the ‘develoPPP.de’ programme. With ‘develoPPP.de’ the BMZ promotes sustainable activities of companies in developing and emerging countries.
Under this ‘develoPPP.de’ initiative, 50 percent of the tests produced are offered to the public health sector in Côte d’Ivoire and other African countries at cost price (without profit).
“In most African countries there is a lack of sufficient diagnostic capacity to detect SARS-CoV-2, by PCR. Moreover, the performance of such tests is very time-, material-, personnel- and cost-intensive. Rural areas are therefore often cut off from this highly developed form of laboratory diagnostics. A solution to this problem could be high-quality and affordable rapid tests. Local production in Africa could not only improve the supply of affordable tests, but also, create qualified jobs” states Silvia Rath, CTO of Das Labor. GmbH.
Das Labor. GmbH is a German company based in Potsdam. The company invests in the establishment and operation of high-quality medical laboratories and the production of rapid tests.