NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – South Africa’s non-profit Centre for Proteomic & Genomic Research has agreed to work with Chinese microarray and biochip firm CapitalBio to develop infectious disease assays, CPGR said today.
CPGR, situated in Capetown, will have access to CapitalBio’s microarray assay platform, which includes biochip readers and a range of DNA microarrays. CPGR also will start a regional reference center for CB microarray applications, including custom applications for tuberculosis strain typing and drug resistance testing.
“We will initially implement CB’s TB diagnostic platform in order to help tackle one of the most pressing diseases in Africa, but in due course we intend to add a complete range of CB microarray products relevant to the human, animal, and plant biotech arenas,” CPGR Managing Director Reinhard Hiller said in a statement
Hiller added that the CapitalBio microarray platform is “a fast, low-cost” system that is “of key relevance today for the development of affordable diagnostic applications in emerging countries like South Africa.”
CapitalBio has worked with China’s National Tuberculosis Reference Laboratory, company CEO Jing Cheng said, and it sees “enourmous potential for the worldwide use of this technology to bring effective diagnostics to TB sufferers.”
Beijing-based CapitalBio is affiliated with China’s National Engineering Research Centre for Beijing Biochip Technology, an effort that began eight years ago to push biochip-related research and development and business.
CPGR was founded two years ago through a grant from the Department of Science & Technology’s Cape Biotech Trust and PlantBio.