The leading biotechnology and molecular biology related life science supplier in Sri Lanka, Avon Pharmo Chem Pvt Ltd has been authorized by the National Medicines Regulatory Authority (NMRA) of Sri Lanka to provide reagents, primers probes assays and testing kits for SARS-CoV-2 virus.
This has been granted based on the recommendations of the consultant virologists of the main disease testing laboratories in Sri Lanka.
The Novel Corona virus impact was first observed in Sri Lanka by 20th January and Dr Jude Jayamaha, Consultant Medical Virologist, National Influenza Centre, Department of Virology, Medical Research Institute inquired Avon Pharmo Chem to provide primers and probes based on Prof. Malik Peiris’ Protocol from the Centre of Influenza Research, University of Hong Kong. (Regularly referred as HK Protocol or Peiris Protocol). Meanwhile in the same week, Prof Neelika Malavige, Director, Centre for Dengue Research, Faculty of Medical Sciences, Uinversity of Sri Jayawardenapura contacted Avon for primers and probes of HK protocol as Sri Lanka’s over 95% primers supplier is Integrated DNA Technologies (IDT), a US based company.
IDT became the world’s first CDC qualified and authorized assay producer in the SARS CoV 2 virus outbreak. They released a few test assays; 2019-nCoV CDC qPCR Probe Assay and 2019-nCoV Kit that could be well used in the COVID 19 disease detection. While there were so many test failures and fake products, IDT has supplied over 10 million tests by now to the world without any test failure.
Within shortest possible time period, synthesized IDT Primers and probes arrived in Sri Lanka and started in house developed Coronavirus testing based on CDC and HK protocols.
Sri Lanka became the second fastest country to perform an RT PCR based testing for SARS CoV 2 virus. Since then, three systems have been employed in the detection of COVID 19 disease around the country in testing centres and all the primer probe assays were distributed by Avon Pharmo Chem (Pvt) Ltd. The test has been well validated in Medical Research Institute, Centre for Dengue Research, Kandy Hospital, Anuradhapura Hospital and Karapitiya Hospital.
Meanwhile, most trusted ready to use PCR based diagnostics test provider of the country, Altona Diagnostics Germany, another product that Avon has been offering the Sri Lankan market had developed a ready to use test diagnostics kit (Research Use Only) and all local consultants wanted to use that as well.
NMRA, based on the requests and within shortest possible time, authorized Avon Pharmo Chem to import and distribute Altona Diagnostics and IDT reagents assays for Sri Lanka’s urgent needs of patient testing.