JAKARTA, April 7, 2020 — Indonesia PASTI BISA, a collaborative movement initiated by East Ventures to support effort in fight against COVID-19, disbursed IDR 5 billion to purchase raw materials for the production of 50,000 COVID-19 qPCR test kits
Indonesia PASTI BISA is raising fund with a target of Rp 10 billion to support TFRIC19, task force formed by the Agency for Assessment and Application of Technology (BPPT) to fight against COVID-19.
Firstly, IDR 9 billion are raised to finance the production of 100,000 COVID-19 qPCR test kits. Secondly, IDR 1 billion will be used to fund a whole genome sequencing project of SARS-CoV-2.
The fundraising started on Monday, 30 March 2020. In a week, Indonesia PASTI BISA raised IDR 6.98 billion from around 1,300 donors. Therefore, the fundraising has reached around 70% of the target of IDR 10 billion.
East Ventures, as the coordinator of the Indonesian PASTI BISA, and BPPT decided to disburse IDR 5 billion to procure primers, probes and mastermixes to produce 50,000 test kits. The disbursment is based on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between East Ventures, BPPT, KoinWorks, Nusantics, and the Indonesia International Institute of Life Sciences (i3L).
Nusantics has completed a design prototype of the test kit, named NUSANTARA TFRIC19. The company developed and validated NUSANTARA TFRIC-19 using genomic information on SARS-CoV-2 Asia strains.
The design prototype still has to go through a process of testing and validation in Health Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Health. The agency will validate the test kit using local strains. This process will take up to 5 days.
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After that, Bio Farma and i3L will mass produce the test kit under the coordination of BPPT. Subsequently, BPPT will distribute the test kits to health laboratories around the country.
The mass production process of 50,000 qPCR test kits is targeted to be completed about a month after the raw materials are received. While awaiting for all raw materials to arrive, the first batch of 6,400 test kits will begin production in mid-April.
Meanwhile, donors still able to join Indonesia PASTI BISA fundraising using KoinWorks, Komunal and StockBit apps or by visiting indonesiapastibisa.com. Xendit also involve in providing payment gateway for the fundraising. In addition, information about the development of fundraising and test kit production is available daily in IDN Times.
Fundraising activities still continue until target of Rp 10 billion is reached, so we can realize the plan to produce 100,000 PCR test kits and implement the whole genome sequencing project.
Head of BPPT Hammam Riza appreciated the collaboration with East Ventures, which raising fund to be used in the development and production of 100,000 PCR test kits. He said the next important step is to focus on creating more technology products according to the TFRIC19 action plan.
“The signing of this memorandum of understanding, is encourage all of us, to accelerate the development of locally made products, in order to fight against the COVID-19 pandemic,” Hammam added.
East Ventures’ Co-founder and Managing Partner Willson Cuaca said, “Indonesia PASTI BISA movement is progressing swiftly. Within a week, Nusantics completed the test kit prototype design and 70% of the fundraising target had been secured. This development allows us to start distributing a portion of donations. And, begin the preparation for mass produce COVID-19 qPCR test kits in Indonesia. We are very grateful to the donors, volunteers, and all those who have worked day and night for Indonesia PASTI BISA. ”