iBET is part of Serology4COVID, a consortium devoted to create a serological test for the detection of anti-SARS-CoV-2 antibodies. The goal was to develop a highly sensitive serological test to be used at national level. The consortium comprises five scientific institutions from Lisbon and Oeiras: IGC, iMM, CEDOC-NMS, ITQB NOVA and iBET.
Recently, Serology4COVID consortium closed a serological test license agreement for the detection of antibodies to SARS-Cov-2 with the Portuguese company Medinfar, leader in the areas of Consumer Healthcare and Dermatology.
The consortium also guarantees access to the knowledge produced, making the protein and the respective protocol available to Research Centers in Portugal and in African Portuguese Speaking Countries (PALOP) interested in developing academic studies on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The serological test developed by the consortium, was initially applied in several academic studies promoted by the consortium partners:
- 8000 tests carried out by IGC in the scope of the pilot project with the Almeirim City Council and in the monitoring project of 1500 health professionals started in April;
- 3500 tests carried out by iMM in the scope of the COVID-19 test campaign carried out by the University of Lisbon and projects with the Centro Hospitalar Lisboa Norte, the Faculty of Medicine and the Portuguese Institute of Blood and Transplantation
- 1645 tests carried out by CEDOC-NMS in the scope of Serological Screening to the community of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa.
In this way, Serology4COVID fulfills its purpose: to develop a scalable and economical serological test for COVID-19, entirely done in Portugal, a strategic tool to learn about the expansion of immunity in the population and support the implementation of measures to control the disease with a view to minimize the consequences of this pandemic on health, society and the economy.
iBET will keep producing the antigen kit for Medinfar in a business relationship between the two, now as a “raw material”.