A locally-developed African Swine Fever or ASF Test Kit will be distributed by Diamed Enterprise in the CALABARZON region.
This is part of the agreement signed recently between GenAmplify Technologies, Inc. (GTI), the manufacturer, and Diamed Enterprise, a provider of Life Science and Diagnostics products in the Philippines. GTI is a subsidiary of Manila Healthtek (MTek), the country’s first and only biotech company in diagnostics, which developed the molecular-based testing platform called GenAmplify ASF PCR Detection Kit.
Lorenzo Arellano, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Diamed, says, “The GenAmplify ASF PCR Detection Kit delivers the same quality of performance as international brands. It is user-friendly, and is very convenient since it allows the use of different types of samples.”
Last year, the Food and Drug Administration approved the test kits. The Veterinary Laboratory Division of the Bureau of the Animal Industry has also validated the product last year and has found it to be 100% sensitive and 100% specific. This means that the testing kit can detect true positive which reflects on its sensitivity and can also detect true negative, a matter that reflects on specificity.
It has also undergone field implementation recently. This was done in partnership with animal diseases diagnostic laboratories to validate the product’s performance and understand the gaps before its actual roll-out in the market.
Diamed Enterprise’s laboratory in Los Banos was one of the laboratories who participated in the field implementation.
“We are open also for other distributors to cover other areas, most especially those areas with reported outbreaks. A wider distribution network will eventually help us further lower the cost of testing to make it more accessible for hog farmers” adds Ms. Maricar Ocampo, Vice President for Sales and Marketing of GTI.
Aside from lower cost and accessibility, Dr. Ernesto Balolong Jr., Director of Research and Development, Animal Health Division of MTek also adds another important product feature.
“Since the product is locally-developed, the manufacturers can readily provide technical assistance to laboratories should there be problems, versus imported test kits,” cites Dr. Balolong on an added advantage.