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BGI Group helps over 80 countries in timely Covid-19 detection

DUBAI, April 17, 2020

Global genomics leader BGI has announced it has produced more than 10 million of its RT-PCR Tests for SARS-CoV-2, which are US FDA-approved, and is distributing them to more than 80 countries around the world, including the UAE, US and Europe.
 
BGI’s Huo-Yan (“Fire Eye”) Laboratories have been set up in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia, bringing population-scale detection and diagnosis of Covid-19 to the world. 
 
BGI is meeting the demand for testing kits by trebling production and working with governments to launch emergency laboratory solutions. 
 
In addition, BGI has donated over 130,000 test kits, while partner organizations have donated another 178,000 of BGI’s test kits. 
 
BGI is one of the few companies globally that has products recognized as officially approved for use in China, the European Union, the United States, and Japan. 
 
BGI’s RT-PCR Test for SARS-CoV-2 has been granted approval by the US FDA Emergency Use Authorization, Europe’s CE-IVD, China’s NMPA and Japan’s PMDA.
 
“The most critical thing for all of us at BGI is to help bring this pandemic under control. We are working with governments and institutions globally to achieve this mission,” remarked Yin Ye, CEO of BGI Genomics, part of BGI Group.
 
“We have more than trebled our production capacity to two million reactions a day to meet demand and expect to increase that again to three million reactions in the coming weeks,” stated Ye.
 
BGI Group started out at the forefront of the fight against Covid-19 in China and is now spearheading the worldwide response, deploying not only tests but also laboratory robots to automate sample preparation and powerful sequencers to track virus mutations, he added. 
 
In Wuhan, BGI set up its first Huo-Yan or “Fire Eye” Laboratory in five days. This 2,000 sq-m automated Biosafety Level-2 PCR testing laboratory can perform 10,000 tests a day. 
 
A comprehensive solution for rapidly scaling up diagnostic testing, the Huo-Yan or Fire Eye model is being implemented in the US, Europe, Middle East and Asia. 
 
Fire Eye laboratories combine the best of BGI Group expertise, with the most recent launched last week in the UAE and Sweden.  The laboratory equipment is produced by MGI, a part of the BGI Group focused on sequencing tools and lab automation.
 
Sequencing plays a number of roles in the fight against Covid-19, explains Duncan Yu, President of MGI. 
 
"It helped identify the virus that caused Covid-19 and can track new strains of the virus as it mutates and the speed of those changes," noted Yu.
 
In the UAE, together with local partner G42, BGI built the first laboratory outside China in Abu Dhabi in just 14 days. It began operating two weeks ago and will scale up to handle tens of thousands of samples a day.
 
BGI has also designed a mobile, inflatable biosafety lab called an Air Lab to offer an effective deployment solution for Covid-19 testing in places where setting up a traditional lab is difficult. The Huo-Yan Air Lab will soon be deployed in several locations. 
 
The BGI Group has a long history of responding to public health crises including decoding the genome of the SARS virus in 2003, then developing the virus detection kit in 96 hours, and helping fight the Ebola outbreak in 2014 in West Africa.-TradeArabia News Service



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