Expert from the Havana-based Immunoassay Center (CIE) praises the marked contribution of Sancti Spiritus scientists to the development of the diagnostic tool Umelisa SARS-CoV-2 antigen, entirely produced in Cuba
The participation of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) of Sancti Spíritus has been essential in the development of the Umelisa SARS-CoV-2 antigen diagnostic tool, said Dr. Irinia Valdivia Álvarez, deputy director of Development and Production of Diagnostic Agents at the Immunoassay Center.
Interviewed by Escambray via e-mail, the doctor explained that 14 monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies obtained in Sancti Spiritus were evaluated for this new biotechnological product, of which three were selected as those with the best performance for use in the development of the diagnostic test.
“During all these months we have maintained a constant and fluid communication with a high spirit of collaboration between the two institutions, where professionalism, a high level of commitment and a sense of urgency and necessity to fulfill the task for the benefit of the people have prevailed”, added the doctor.
Sancti Spiritus’s CIGB provides continuous and sufficient supply of the biological raw materials involved in the diagnostic tool, in compliance with the quality specifications. If we were to acquire them abroad, in addition to facing the increasingly harsh and merciless blockade, a little more than 2 million dollars would have been needed to guarantee the supply of diagnostic tests in one year.
This institution is our major supplier of monoclonal antibodies and recombinant proteins, used to guarantee the production of 10 SUMA technology diagnostic instruments, including assays for blood certification and epidemiological surveillance of HIV, hepatitis B and C, the test for the diagnosis and surveillance of dengue, as well as those used for prostate cancer screening, among others. They also provide us with antibodies and proteins that are used in several projects for the development of new diagnostic tools in which our center is involved.