• Signature de l’accord en Joint Venture entre ZenTech et son partenaire chinois Zheda Dixun en 2015 lors de la mission royale en Chine.
  • ZenTech et son partenaire chinois reçus à l'Agence wallonne à l'Exportation et aux Investissements étrangers à Bruxelles.

ZenTech test identifies healthy carriers of COVID-1906/04/2020

Liège-based biotech company ZenTech, which specialises in the production of diagnostic kits for rare diseases in newborns, offers a rapid screening test for COVID-19. Developed by its Chinese partner, this kit has already been successfully used in China to fight the epidemic. The Walloon company plans to eventually produce between 1.5 and 2 million on its Sart-Tilman site. As well as sick individuals, this test can identify healthy carriers of the virus, which could prove very useful in allowing people to return to work during the economic recovery.

ZenTech has been working in partnership with the Hangzhou-based firm Zheda Dixun since 2015. The latest test it has developed can detect the presence of coronavirus in the blood. It has been approved by the Chinese authorities and the very strict CFDA, and has received the CE label for its European marketing.

One thousand of these tests have been made available to the CHU in Liège so that its use in a hospital setting can be validated. Two batches of 500,000 tests can be delivered to Belgium quickly.

By detecting whether the person being tested has had an immune reaction to the virus, this test can identify sick people as well as individuals who are immune and carry the virus, but do not develop the disease. "We are checking for coronavirus seroconversion. Someone who has been infected with the coronavirus will develop an immune defence," explained Jean-Claude Havaux, CEO of ZenTech. It very quickly (it gives a result within 10 to 15 minutes) relieves congestion at screening points. It also has another advantage, since it is much cheaper (nearly 10 euros, or a quarter of the price, according to the company) than other tests under development.

It should be noted, however, that this is not a do-it-yourself "self-test" sold in pharmacies. It is intended for use by the medical profession, by both hospitals and general practitioners, as it does not require any specific equipment or special connections.

These kits will eventually allow the entire Belgian population to be screened easily, with a view to systematically identifying individuals who may or may not be carriers of the new coronavirus, as recommended by Belgian scientific experts and researchers from the Centre for Economic Policy Research. "This could be very useful for the future economic recovery," according to Jean-Claude Havaux. "The kit allows us to see who is protected and who is not, which can be very useful for the medical profession in releasing people from isolation and inviting them to return to work. It could also help relieve congestion in hospitals and outposts, as people who develop antibodies could be sent home."

 

ZenTech is a Walloon Biotech company located in the Science Park in Liège and specialised in the development of screening kits for immune system diseases, in general, and in the screening of these diseases that can be detected in the initial stages of life, as well as rare diseases, in particular.

Contact presse : Eric Louis POSKIN e.poskin@e-trust.eu.

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