The Ministry of Development announced a great scientific achievement of four universities and six research centers, the creation of a Greek rapid COVID-19 test.
All the necessary documents were immediately sent to the Industrial Property Organization for the patent, which makes the test almost one hundred percent accurate.
The core of the research team consists of six people led by Professor Vassilis Gorgoulis.
Every day since February 17 they have met in the laboratory of Histology and Embryology of the Medical School of Athens with the aim of understanding and treating the COVID-19 infection, including with rapid tests.
The first step for the Greek antigen rapid test was to first produce the appropriate cells in the microbiological laboratory, from the experimental animals, which release the antibodies.
Then follows the fusion process.
At this stage, a large amount of antibodies are produced.
The third and possibly most critical step is the process of selecting the most appropriate antibody.
“Here we came up with the monoclonal antibodies,” Konstantinos Evangelou, a member of the research team and associate professor at the Medical School of EKPA, told state-owned AMNA.
“Monoclonal is an antibody that accurately identifies the key/lock antigen against which it has been produced. In other words, it is highly specialized, very special,” he added.
The bet now is to find a company that can mass produce monoclonal antibodies to assist the rapid tests.
For this reason, in the middle of last week, there was a teleconference attended by many ministers and the head of the research team, Vassilis Gorgoulis.
“We are in discussions with some companies to see how we can take advantage of this very important development, for the benefit of public health”, said the Deputy Minister of Research and Technology, Christos Dimas, to AMNA about the rapid tests.
“Since there are Greek companies that can make this large-scale production, I consider it a matter of national interest, national mobilization, for this to take place. It is a national obligation”, Evangelou emphasized.
“We have to look at the national interest. Anyone who does not join this effort will have a responsibility to the Greek people,” he added.
The aim is to produce the product in Greece in order to reduce costs and make the price more competitive in relation to the antigen rapid tests imported mainly from Belgium.
In parallel with this effort for rapid tests, the Ministry of Development is funding research into the genetic analysis of the virus genome, as well as the hosts. In other words, people who have been infected with COVID-19.
In the first findings from the analysis of the genome, variants of the virus have been identified. Now, it is being examined whether these variants affect his behavior and make him more contagious.
The next step is the creation of a National Covid Database which will have great bio-analytical value for scientists.