Good news from Cuban science

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The President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, again met with scientists and experts who, for more than ten months, have contributed to the COVID-19 battle in Cuba. Yesterday, January 13, they presented recent results which included an update on the development of a diagnostic based on magnetic extraction of virus RNA using nanotechnology.

According to Dr. Angelina Díaz García, director of the Center for Advanced Studies, the development involves the laboratory reagent that allows for extracting the genetic material, which is an essential step in PCR testing for COVID-19.

Dr. Diaz reported that the Cuban version was evaluated at the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine, and was found to function in 100% concordance with imported kits, and meets all regulatory requirements.

She announced the commitment to produce kits for 20,000 daily extractions, this year, with several institutions participating, including self-employed workers.

Cuba has developed the production of swabs for sample taking, a transport medium for collection and transfer of samples, and now this diagnostic.

Dr. Rolando Pérez Rodríguez, BioCubaFarma’s director for Science and Innovation, stated that the goal is to produce a complete diagnostic system.

These capacities, he clarified, will not only facilitate testing for COVID-19, but for a variety of viral and bacterial infections, as well as chronic non-transmissible diseases, including cancer. The project, which should be completed in 2022, is directed toward producing everything required for molecular diagnosis, he said.

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