A team of Ukrainian researchers, which included scientists from JSC Farmak pharmaceutical company and the Hromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases, have developed a PCR test capable of detecting even new strains of the Sars-Cov-2 coronavirus. According to the company’s press release, the availability of technological equipment purchased by Farmak allowed for the first time in Ukraine to carry out the sequencing procedure. This is “reading” the sequence of nucleotides in the RNA of the virus “as spelling a text.”
“Sequencing allows, in case of revealing differences in the genetic text (mutations), to draw conclusions about the presence of new strains of the virus. The results of the study, in fact, confirmed the presence of a new strain of coronavirus in Ukraine,” the researchers said.
The results of the study, as well as information about the virus strains circulating in Ukraine since the beginning of the pandemic, have already been posted in the GISAID international initiative promoting the rapid sharing of data from all influenza viruses and the coronavirus causing COVID-19.
Farmak said that on March 3, the research team confirmed that the new PCR test system developed by the pharmaceutical company’s specialists, in addition to the already widespread strains, also detects the new UK variant of coronavirus.
The Farmak test system was based on the TaqPath COVID 19 RT PCR Kit (Thermo Scientific, the United States), which is authorized by the U.S. Federal Drug Administration (FDA). High quality components made in the United States are used for the production of the new SARS-CoV-2 test kit.
The quality of the new test kit is confirmed by the relevant findings of the Hromashevsky Institute of Epidemiology and Infectious Diseases of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Kyiv) and the Mechnikov Institute of Microbiology and Immunology of the Academy of Medical Sciences of Ukraine (Kharkiv). Reference trials of the PCR test kit are carried out in private and public laboratories in Ukraine (Kharkiv, Dnipro, Zaporizhia, Vinnytsia), confirming its effectiveness.
Farmak said that the new test kit has opened up to pre-purchasing.