Sep 19 2021 | 11:46 AM
Emirati companies have announced their intention to introduce a new technology for testing COVID-19 for GCC and ME countries, which is characterized by its ability to detect infections at its onset by 100 per cent and the Delta variant by 99.4 per cent.
The technology called CRISPR was presented by French researcher Emmanuelle Charpentier and American researcher Jennifer A. Doudna as a global technology for detecting RNA as well as DNA in diagnosis in general, said Sheikh Sultan Bin Saud Abdulaziz Al Mualla, CEO of Cooper Diagnostics, a UAE company.
The two researchers received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year in DNA technology and the diagnosis of the COVID-19 was invented later.
The CRISPR technology obtained an emergency use licence from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as it is characterized by 100 per cent accuracy and sensitivity in detecting the coronavirus during the first stage of infection, adding to accurate diagnosis of the pandemic and improving the level of healthcare and the treatment of the infected, he said. The technology also obtained the emergency licence from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention (MOHAP), he added.
Al Mualla pointed out that the tests conducted on the technology showed its success in detecting the Delta variant, was first discovered in India, by 99.4 per cent, adding that the adoption of this technology in the UAE for emergency use comes as part of the UAE’s approach to develop healthcare services in an optimal way.
Dr Amin Hussein Al Amiri, Assistant Undersecretary for Public Health Policy and Licensing Sector in MOHAP, affirmed that the ministry is always keen to introduce the best international technologies and incorporate them into its services.
The MOHAP was very keen to issue an emergency use licence for the CRISPR technology upon receipt of the file with the emergency use licence from the FDA with a view to enhancing the UAE’s leading role in combating COVID-19.
Meanwhile, Dr Zahid Al Sabti, CEO and Managing Director of Magenta Investments, CRISPR exclusive distributor in the UAE, pointed out that the new technology represents a quantum leap in accurately detecting the COVID-19 and significantly outperforms all technologies currently used as shown in its capability to detect the COVID-19 by 100 per cent and give results within only 45 minutes. This will enable this technology to be highly competitive in many areas such as airports, schools and other places of importance, he added.
Through its plans, the company aims at providing testing opportunities for everyone, thereby ensuring early detection of the pandemic in the first stage of infection and consequently expedite the isolation of the infected and those who are in contact with them and bring the infection under control, he said.