By Gavin Gibbon
Lab in Masdar City was built and operationalised by G42 and BGI in 14 days
A massive throughput laboratory, built for population-scale detection and diagnosis of Covid-19, has been launched in the UAE.
The lab is capable of conducting tens of thousands of RT-PCR tests daily and it the first in the world of this scale to be operational outside of China.
Located in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, the laboratory was rapidly built and operationalised in 14 days by Group 42 (G42), the leading technology company based in Abu Dhabi, and global genomics leader BGI.
Peng Xiao, CEO of G42, said: “This high throughput lab provides the scale and firepower to enable all people in Abu Dhabi and the UAE to access the most reliable PCR tests, which are also provided by G42 in partnership with BGI.”
This new processing capacity will enable a rapid response to the current outbreak by accelerating the diagnosis, identification of suspected cases, the release of recovered patients, and the screening of close contacts and high-risk groups.
The lab will utilise BGI’s RT-PCR diagnostic kits for the detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. It is the only RT-PCR diagnostic kit that has received approvals from China (NMPA), Europe (CE-IVD), the United States (FDA) and the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Wang Jian, co-founder and chairman of BGI Group, said: “Together with our partners at G42, we can bring the world’s best technology and experience in fighting global health threats to help the people of the UAE and beyond.”
The lab will prioritise testing within the UAE, which leads the world as the most tested country per capita, according to the WHO, but could scale up to receive samples from neighbouring regions.