After a few months of study and analysis, Beroni Group is now ready to commercialise the diagnostic kit for simultaneously testing, detecting and differentiating the Zika virus, all dengue virus serotypes, Chikungunya virus and West Nile virus. The US FDA has issued an emergency use authorization for emergency use of this diagnostic kit.
Detection of infectious diseases is one of Beroni’s core businesses. Beroni Group Limited entered into an agreement with the Columbia University, New York in March 2018 to provide funding to a research program in the field of CII-ArboViroPlex rRT-PCR Test. The funding support granted Beroni Group an exclusive option to obtain an exclusive, compensation bearing license to the background patents and inventions to the CII-ArboViroPlex rRT-PCR Test. Later in April 2019, Beroni signed an exclusive license agreement with Columbia University whereby Columbia University grants to Beroni and its affiliates, an exclusive license to use the patents, technical information and materials to discover, develop, manufacture, make, use, sell, import, export, distribute, rent or lease the Arbo ViroPlex rRT-PCR Test on a worldwide basis. Columbia University also grants to Beroni Group the right to grant sub-licenses, subject to certain conditions.
In the last few months, Beroni Group has seconded a few technical and marketing staff to Beroni USA Corporation to study the technical aspects of the ArboViroPlex rRT-PCR Test and to draw up a product commercialisation plan. The US team has now reached a stage where it is ready to start promoting and distributing the product to authorized laboratories in the USA and other countries.
In an epidemic, early detection is critical for local medical authorities to be able to respond without delay to containing the epidemic. The Zika virus is a flavivirus, part of the same family as yellow fever, there is currently no vaccine to prevent Zika or a specific medicine to treat the infection. Zika virus outbreaks had occurred in Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands prior to 2015. In February 2016, the Zika outbreak was so severe in South America and the Caribbean that the World Health Organization (WHO) took the rare step of declaring it a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. As of March 2018, CDC estimated there were at least 90 countries and territories with active Zika virus transmissions. Beroni Group and Columbia University jointly develop the Arbo ViroPlex rRT-PCR Test, which will be benefit for virus prevention and control.