Meet the Filipino scientist who invented the low-cost COVID-19 testing kits!

The Philippines and other parts of the world are now facing a pandemic, a highly contagious virus COVID-19. Metro Manila is placed under community quarantine so does other provinces in the country with confirmed COVID-19 case. Amid the panic and terror brought by this pandemic, Dr. Raul Destura together with his team of UP scientists are giving the Filipinos and the rest of the world a reason to see the light in this trying times as he develops a cheaper SARS-CoV-2 PCR detection kit.

According to reports, it took over two weeks of sleepless nights for Dr. Destura and his team of 15 UP scientists to develop the testing kit. Like any scientific study, Dr. Destura says the whole process of developing the kit was very tedious. They had to keep repeating every step of the way, 40 to 60 times, to prove the technology’s sensitivity and specificity. Dr. Destura’s role to the team is to validate their findings, challenge the results, and “give solutions when they’re hitting a wall.”

Dr. Raul Destura is the Deputy Executive Director of the Philippine Genome Center. He is a microbiologist and infectious disease specialist. Aside from the COVID-19 test kit, one of his pioneering works is the “Lab in a Mug” Project, a portable multi-infectious disease device about the size of a mug, generated its first ever spin-off company for the University of the Philippines, the MTek Inc.

Amid the crisis that we’re currently facing, Dr. Destura and his team of 15 UP scientists has made the detection of COVID-19 easier and cheaper with their invention. The locally made GenAmplify will cost only around P1320 per test which is almost 7 times cheaper than foreign test kits!

Thank you for your service Dr. Destura and team!



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