SHENZHEN, China, April 27, 2020: BGI Genomics Co., Ltd. (SZSE:300676), and Saudi Arabia’s National Unified Procurement Company (NUPCO) have signed an agreement to establish Six “Huo-Yan” (“Fire Eye”) laboratories in Saudi Arabia to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. BGI will provide its SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR detection kits and total laboratory solution.
The Huo-Yan laboratories will enable a daily testing capacity of 50,000 samples. Additionally, BGI’s Huo-Yan Air Laboratory, a new, rapid deployment solution to quickly establish a BSL-2 lab for SARS-CoV-2 detection, is also expected to be set up in Saudi Arabia, with a designed daily detection capacity of 10,000 samples per day. BGI will provide a complete solution covering laboratory renovation and construction, and COVID-19 testing.
Combined, the new laboratory infrastructure will increase the country’s current detection capacity by more than 5 times, allowing COVID-19 testing for approximately 30% of the population throughout the country in the coming 8 months.
Online Signing Ceremony in Riyadh
Vice President of BGI Genomics, Li Ning (first left) signed an agreement. Co-founder and Chairman of BGI, Wang Jian (second from left), CEO of BGI Group, Xu Xun (second from right), and Executive VP of BGI Genomics, Du Yutao (first right) witnessed the signing ceremony in Shenzhen.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Chairman of the Negotiating and Purchasing Committee and supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief), said:“The project will have the greatest impact in supporting the management of the country’s plans to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. The signing of this strategic agreement confirms the strength of long-standing Saudi-Chinese ties, and the keenness of the leaders of these two strong countries to respond quickly to protect the global community.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Saudi side for its trust in China and Chinese company, as well as BGI for their efforts to implement this project in a short time despite all the difficulties. The Huo-Yan laboratory is an important step toward cooperation between our two countries in fighting against the pandemic” Chen Weiqing, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia said.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Chairman of the Negotiating and Purchasing Committee and supervisor general of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (left), Chen Weiqing, Chinese Ambassador to Saudi Arabia (right).
Wang Jian, Co-founder and Chairman of BGI said: “We would like to transfer our successful experience we achieved in China to Saudi Arabia partners, hope we can work together to fight against the pandemic”.
Saudi Ambassador to China, Turki M. A. Almadi said: “We need to work together to overcome the epidemic, I would like to thank the Chinese government and BGI for the support”.
BGI has produced more than 10 million of its SARS-CoV-2 RT-PCR tests, and is distributing them to more than 80 countries around the world. In early February, with the support of the Wuhan Municipal Government, BGI built the Huo-Yan laboratory in just five days, with a daily detection capacity of up to 20,000 tests, which contributed to the fight against the epidemic in Wuhan. In addition to Wuhan, Huo-Yan laboratories were put into operation more than 10 cities in China. Recently, Huo-Yan laboratories were built and opened in the United Arab Emirates, Brunei and the key equipment of the Huo-Yan laboratory was sent to labs in the United States and Sweden to help to scale up testing capacity. BGI is discussing the construction of Huo-Yan laboratories with governments or partners in more than 10 countries. It is playing an increasingly important role in the fight against the epidemic.