Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University (BSMMU) is expected to present the results of performance trial of the coronavirus antibody testing kit developed by the Gonoshasthaya Kendra (GK) in the coming week.
“We’ve already conducted the performance trial. We’ll now process data and prepare the final report,” BSMMU Vice-Chancellor Prof Kanak Kanti Barua told UNB on Friday.
He said Prof Shahina Tabassum, head of the committee formed to conduct the performance study of the Covid-19 rapid testing kits developed by Gonoshasthaya, informed him that they will take three to four more days to make the final report.
“I hope it’ll be ready by Tuesday next,” the VC said.
He, however, said they are not going to make any report on the GK’s coronavirus-testing antigen kit as the organisation withdrew it on June 2.
Asked whether they will conduct the performance trial of antigen kit if the organistion resubmits samples with modification, the VC said they are unlikely to do that.
“They (GK) submitted the kit on May 20 and withdrew it on June 2. We won’t wait for an unlimited time for them to conduct the test,” Prof Barua said.
He said there was an understanding between the BSMMU and GK that no information regarding the performance study can be made public before the final report. “But they violated it and made some information public.”
The VC said they will send the final report to the Directorate General of Drug Administration (DGDA) once they prepare it.
According to GK, its antibody kit will help identify whether people have been infected with coronavirus in the past and the presence of antibodies or resistance power. It will also help collect plasma of those who have recovered.
In a press release on June 3, GK requested the BSMMU authorities to suspend the performance study of its coronavirus-testing antigen kit due to the detection of some inconsistencies in sample collection procedure.
GK said it is upgrading the sample collection process.
Dr Mohib Ullah Khondoker, coordinator of Gonoshasthaya's GR Covid-19 Rapid Dot Blot Project, said, “There’s nothing wrong with our antigen or antibody kits. Antigen kits are tested from saliva which needs to be collected with extreme caution. If cough or spits remain with the saliva during sample collection, the antigen kit test may not yield accurate results.”
He said they are now working to resolve the problems so that accurate results can be found from the test by properly collecting the sample.
On March 17, GK announced that they developed a testing kit that can examine samples to detect COVID-19 within 15 minutes, but the kit was still not approved by the authorities concerned.
Later on April 30, the DGDA permitted Gonoshasthaya to get its testing kits tested. The DGDA informed Gonoshasthaya that the performance study of the kits could be done either at the BSMMU or IEDCR.
On May 2, the BSMMU authorities formed a six-member committee, headed by Virology Department’s former chairman Prof Shahina Tabassum, to conduct the performance study of the testing kits as the organisation approached the country’s premier medical university.