Catalan research labs repurposed for mass COVID-19 testing service

Catalan research labs repurposed for mass COVID-19 testing service

News from CRG

The Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) is coordinating a task force with the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), as requested by Generalitat de Catalunya, to set up mass testing for citizens to stop the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak.

There will be two mass testing sites – one coordinated by the CRG at its labs at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and another at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona, jointly coordinated by IRB Barcelona, IBEC and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG), part of the CRG.

The project, codenamed Programa Orfeu by the Generalitat de Catalunya, aims to run a total of 170 thousand tests in its first phase, which will last for an initial period of six weeks.

The mass testing sites will be used to detect infected people both during the lockdown and as measures are progressively relaxed. This will allow citizens to better isolate the sick, lower infection rates, let essential workers get back to work and save lives.

The CRG will work seven days a week to conduct 100,000 tests during a six-week period in its labs thanks to its regular PCR capabilities, as well as the addition of a next-generation sequencing robot with a capacity to run 8000 samples per day. Only four of these robots currently exist in Europe. The site at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona will carry out 70,000 tests over the same time period.


More information:
CRG website