The Wiener Lab laboratory, with a production plant in Rosario, will be the first to produce rapid self-tests for the indicative detection of the coronavirus in the country, it was reported this Friday after receiving approval from the National Administration of Medicines, Food and Medical Technology (Anmat). ) to manufacture this product that will be sold “free” in pharmacies and drugstores throughout the country.
“This test makes it possible to determine the presence or absence of antigens (proteins) of the SARS-CoV-2 virus,” the company’s president, Federico Rojkin, explained to Télam, adding that “it is a simple test that can be performed by any person over 18 years of age in his home.
He also clarified “that the result is indicative. It does not confirm or rule out the infection,” said the manager.
Rojkin did not risk the production volumes that the company plans to develop, but admitted that as of Anmat’s approval, the laboratory is working “against the clock” to supply pharmacies and drugstores as soon as possible.
The new production line requires an investment of $85 million from the laboratory to expand production.
“Wiener Lab. has more than 300 employees in Rosario. We are working as a team and redirecting all efforts to meet the demand,” said the biochemist who graduated from the National University of Rosario (UNR).
He specified that since the pandemic began, the company – founded 60 years ago by his father – Miguel, also a biochemist and researcher, “manufactured 500,000 PCR tests and 10,000 rapid antigen tests for professional use.”
Along these lines, he emphasized “that Wiener Lab. is so far the only national company authorized to manufacture and market the Covid-19 self-tests.”
“Our goal is to provide a national industry tool to all Argentines and, in principle, to be able to supply the local market and all pharmacies that require it,” he said.
Along these lines, he did not rule out that the product “later on can be exported to different countries in the region where we have 10 of our own subsidiaries,” he stated.
Regarding the retail price of the kits, he said that they will be sold in the local market at around $3,000 or $4,000.
The components of the kit are a cassette with lateral flow technology that uses commercial antibodies linked to nanoparticles; includes a swab for taking the nasal sample and a solution for the treatment; and the result can be obtained in 15 minutes.
Finally, the researcher and businessman from Rosario clarified “that the marketing of the self-tests will be through pharmacies and drugstores, so companies and private consumers must obtain supplies through these channels.”
According to information from Anmat, the agency recently authorized three other companies to develop the tests; Roche laboratories from Switzerland, Abbot from the United States and a third party that will import from abroad.
Thus, the company from Rosario is the only one with national capital authorized for the national industrial development of the product that, according to initial estimates, could be for sale in the country’s pharmacies in the coming weeks.