3 coronavirus test kits made in Changping's Life Science Park go to market

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Changping district's Life Science Park is home to over 60 innovative enterprises specialized in developing in vitro test kits of the novel coronavirus, and three of the test kits approved by the National Medical Products Administration were developed by companies in the park, according to Dong Guijiao, deputy head of Changping district at Beijing's regular press conference on epidemic prevention and control on April 4. 

The park, located in the west of Future City of Science, is home to eight national scientific research institutions, more than 370 innovative companies, and more than 150 top industry experts, including 19 academicians of the Chinese Academy of Sciences or the Academy of Engineering. 

Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Changping district has leveraged the park's strength in innovation, and facilitated companies in the park to join in epidemic-related research, Dong said. More than 20 companies have so far been engaged in R&D on anti-epidemic medicines and medical equipment. 

In particular, three kinds of test kits have been approved by the National Medical Products Administration and gone to market, said Dong. He added that the three test kits were developed by different technological methods and have different features. 

Beijing Applied Biological Technologies Co. worked with the Institute of Medical Biology of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences to develop a nucleic acid test kit that became available on the market on Feb. 27. The product adopts the fluorescence-PCR technology, and simultaneously covers three genome targets, featuring high sensitivity and high detection rate. It is capable of detecting suspected cases and suspected case clusters.

CapitalBio Corporation worked with Tsinghua University and West China Hospital Sichuan University to develop a test kit capable of testing six kinds of respiratory viruses including novel coronavirus. The product, which became available on the market on Feb. 22, uses the constant-temperature amplification chip technology, and has a higher reliability than traditional technologies. 

Wantai BioPharm worked with the National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases (Xiamen University) to develop antibody test kits of novel coronavirus. The product is automatic and delivers rapid results. It became available on the market on March 19. 

Besides the Life Science Park, other pharmaceutical manufacturers and institutions in Changping district are also accelerating epidemic-related research. The National Institute of Biological Sciences and Sinovac Biotech, for instance, are developing antiviral drugs and vaccines. The district will improve its services and business environment to support R&D and innovation for companies in the park, Dong said.

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