GeNose and CePAD, innovations from UGM and Unpad in handling Covid-19

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GeNos. (Photo: UGM Doc.)

IO – The Covid-19 detector made by Gadjah Mada University (UGM) experts, GeNose, finally has a distribution permit and is ready to be marketed. The head of the GeNose development team, Prof. Kuwat Triyana, said that the GeNose distribution permit from the Ministry of Health, Kemenkes RI AKD 20401022883. “Alhamdulillah, thanks to the prayers and extraordinary support from many parties, GeNose C19 officially obtained a distribution permit by regulators, in helping to handle Covid-19 through rapid screening,” said Prof. Kuwat, as quote by Ugm.ac.id, Saturday (26/12/2020).

According to him, after the distribution permit is obtained, the team will hand over the GeNose C19, the mass production of the first batch, which is funded by BIN and the Ministry of Research, Technology/National Agency for distribution. They hope that the limited number of GeNose C19 will have maximum impact. “With 100 units of the first batch to be released, we hope to carry out 120 tests per device or a total of 12 thousand people a day. “The figure of 120 tests per device is based on the estimation that each test takes 3 minutes including taking a breath so that in one hour we can test 20 people and if it is effective, the tool works for 6 hours.” 

This hope can be realized if the distribution of GeNose C19 is done right on target. For example, at airports, train stations, and other crowded places, including hospitals. Including the BNPB which can be mobile approaching suspect Covid-19. However, at this stage it is not possible to procure the GeNose C19 for personal use.

After receiving a distribution permit, UGM will soon produce the GeNose C19 on an industrial scale. The team hopes that if there are 1,000 units in the future, it can test as many as 120 thousand people a day. If there are 10 thousand units (based on the target at the end of February 2021), Indonesia will show the highest number of Covid-19 tests per day globally – around 1.2. million people per day.

“By all means, we do not hope to see an increasing number of patients, but the ability to test that many is expected to find people infected with Covid-19 without symptoms (OTG) so we can immediately take isolation or treatment and break the chain of Covid-19 transmission immediately,” said Prof. Kuwat.

He also explained that later the test fee with the GeNose C19 is pretty cheap. It is only around IDR 15-25 thousand. It also can release the quick result test results, which is about 2 minutes, and does not require reagents or other chemicals. Besides, taking a test sample in the form of a breath exhalation also seems more comfortable than a PCR or swab.

Meanwhile, CePAD by Padjajaran University (Unpad) researchers was introduced by the Minister of Research and Technology, Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro, in a virtual press conference held Monday (28/12/2020). “The two innovations of the nation’s children have a very important role in handling Covid-19, especially in the implementation of 4T (testing, tracing, tracking, and treatment),” said the Minister of Research and Technology.

He explained that CePAD and GeNose are two innovative products that are categorized as tools for rapid detection of the presence of Covid-19 in humans. These two products are not categorized as antibody-based rapid tests, but have different testing objectives. “We encourage this tool to be used in public places, so that economic activities can continue, but with the application of health protocols,” he said.

The CePAD rapid test product developed by Lecturer of Chemistry at the Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences Unpad, Muhammad Yusuf, and the team functions by carrying out rapid detection through the SARS-CoV-2 virus antigen test taken from nasal swab samples. This test detects a viral protein with a high viral load early in the infection. The results of the CePAD test are relatively fast, at about 15 minutes with a high degree of accuracy. Moreover, Prof. Bambang stated that the antigen test itself has received a recommendation from the World Health Organization or WHO as well as a recommendation from the Indonesian Clinical Pathology Association.

Currently, the CePAD Unpad test product has received a distribution permit from the Ministry of Health effective since November 4. A number of hospitals and health laboratories in West Java have used this product. Muhammad Yusuf added that the level of sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy of the CePAD test was at a percentage of 85%, 83% and 84%. This figure has exceeded the standards set by WHO for antigen testing, which is at least 80%. “CePAD products also meet the ASSURE principles which are the criteria for diagnostic tools according to WHO,” said Yusuf.

Yusuf further explained that the CePAD test was developed to mediate the limitations of the PCR test as a gold standard in the detection of Covid-19. But the results from the PCR test take a long time to come out, so that the CePAD product advantage is a shorter waiting period.

Currently, the development of CePAD test products takes the form of a collaboration between two industrial partners, namely, Tekad Mandiri Citra and Indonesian Biomedical Experts for research and production, with a capacity of 500 thousand per month. The team also collaborates with PT West Java UBJ regarding the development of the CePAD portal for tracing. Since it is able to detect the virus when a viral load is high, the CePAD test is able to pinpoint people who are susceptible to transmitting the Covid-19 to others. (est)