- April 29th, 2020
Viña Concha y Toro certifies its research laboratory to diagnose COVID-19 and donates 50,000 liters of hand sanitizer
In response to the complex health crisis in Chile and the rest of the world, Viña Concha y Toro disclosed two major initiative included in its contribution to the Private Emergency Health Fund led by Chile’s Confederation of Production and Commerce (CPC).
The molecular biology laboratory ran by Viña Concha y Toro’s Center for Research and Innovation (CRI) has been certified by Universidad Católica del Maule’s (UCM) Biomedical Research Laboratory to operate under the supervision of the Maule Region Health Service to carry out diagnostic tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19 as part of a network of laboratories connected by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.
The capabilities of the CRI’s molecular biology laboratory include process robotization and automation, with use of the Hamilton Microlab STARLet robotic pipettor, among other devices, which enables 2,300 samples per day to be processed, and a qPCR Thermofisher QuantStudio 5 with a diagnostic capacity of 768 samples per day.
“We want to collaborate with our capabilities to overcome this health crisis, supporting prevention and early diagnosis. As part of our contribution to the Private Emergency Health Fund, together with the donation of hand sanitizer to health authorities, we have also made our cutting-edge technological equipment and team of professionals at the Center for Research and Innovation available to them”, said Eduardo Guilisasti, CEO of Viña Concha y Toro.
This milestone complements the first stage of implementing complementary capacity to strengthen the diagnostic system, and also included the provision of RNA extraction equipment to UCM and Talca Hospital. This strategy includes an Esco SC2-4E1 Streamline® Class II Biological Safety Cabinet and MagMAX™ Express-96 purification system, which will enable daily extraction capacity to be quadrupled. Additionally, purification kits to carry out 1,500 RNA extractions will be donated, and the company will provide advisors in work teams coordinated by the Head of the Ministry of Science’s Central-South Regional Office, Paulina Assmann.
“The organized scientific community is currently performing a special task to fight this pandemic. Thanks to the coordination of five regional Ministry of Science offices—together with teams from the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Institute, and the generosity of the scientific community, academic communities and the private sector—today our country stands out for its coordinated and decentralized COVID-19 diagnostic capacity”, said Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation, Andrés Couve.
“In times of crisis, this type of collaboration reaffirms the value of public-private-academic partnerships in their deepest sense, which ultimately aims to achieve common good and prosperity for our country. I would like to thank the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Science, UCM and our employees for making this possible”, said Gerard Casaubon, Director of Viña Concha y Toro’s Center for Research and Innovation.
In addition to the above, Viña Concha y Toro will donate a total of 50,000 liters of hand sanitizer to health authorities in different formats, enabling them to be provided to people and organizations who so require, including the COVID-19 diagnostic laboratories network, Ministry of Health networks and communities. Of these, 40,000 liters of hand sanitizer prepared by Winkler using the company’s alcohol will be provided, and 10,000 liters will be produced by Viña Concha y Toro’s Lontué Plant and delivered to the Maule Region Government for local distribution.