RDIF unites Russian and international partners to jointly combat COVID-19

Press release, 16.03.2020
  • RDIF introduces a unique Russian-Japanese test for COVID-19 for Russian and global markets
  • Highly precise results produced in just 30 minutes
  • Quick and large scale testing possible without the use of laboratories

Moscow, March 16, 2020 – The Supervisory Board of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, has approved investment in a diagnosis system for the detection of coronavirus, or COVID-19. The system uses a isothermal molecular diagnostic method, where the technology provides results with accuracy comparable to real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) analysis, while the speed of testing significantly exceeds PCR and does not require a stationary laboratory. This express testing system reflects successful cooperation between Russian and Japanese companies and scientists. Full scale use of the testing system is expected in April 2020.

Advantages of the Russia-Japanese test

Diagnosis by the test is swift - just 30 minutes. A range of test systems has been adapted for use both in fixed laboratories and unique portable mini-laboratories (the size of a small suitcase) and can be used anywhere – including hospitals and public institutions (schools, offices, airports, train stations).

Large-scale use of the system will help prevent the spread of coronavirus infection through the rapid detection of infected individuals. Early detection will also increase the effectiveness of treating infected people. According to RDIF’s analysis of the best technologies for testing for coronavirus, this technology is the most advanced.

Plans for production and use

At the beginning of March 2020 initial studies of the Russian-Japanese test were launched at the "Vector" scientific center of the Federal Service for Surveillance of Consumer Rights Protection and Human Wellbeing (Rospotrebnadzor).

RDIF is also promoting this technology in foreign markets, and the developed system is undergoing an accelerated certification process and obtaining the necessary permits in Europe, Asia and the Middle East. At the same time the leading laboratories and clinics in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Austria confirmed the high accuracy of the test and made preliminary bids for the purchase of over 500,000 tests.

RDIF ACTIONS TO COMBAT COVID-19

1. Search and analysis of technologies

Since the first news of COVID-19 in January 2020, RDIF began searching for the most effective options for responding to the threat of coronavirus spread and examining international experience in this area. Analysis of existing advanced technologies for testing coronavirus was carried out and the best scientific solutions were selected.

In early February, thanks to the exclusive partnership between RDIF and BGI Group - China’s leading genome sequencing company - unique samples of coronavirus tests were delivered to Russia. These were the only ones in the world to be tested on samples of the live virus, having previously been tested on more than 1 million people in China.

The delivered samples were promptly transferred for scientific examination to Rospotrebnadzor scientific institutions (Federal State Institution of Science, State Scientific Center for Virology and Biotechnology "Vector") and the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia. The partnership between RDIF and BGI previously provided information on China’s epidemiological situation and the adopted measures to stop the spread of the virus at the initial stage. RDIF is now actively cooperating with Rospotrebnadzor on registration of tests produced by BGI and other companies in Russia.

Based on the analysis of international best practices, together with the Russian Government, possibilities for the most rapid implementation of tests for widespread use are being developed.

2. Centre of Expertise for testing and implementation of international practices to combat coronavirus

RDIF, through a network of international partnerships, has created an Expertise Centre for testing and implementing international practices to combat coronavirus, which will take into account the experience of Russia and foreign countries. The international experience in responding to the threat has been analyzed, with the best technological solutions selected at each stage to combat the virus, and the accumulated information has been transferred to Rospotrebnadzor and Coordinating Council for combating coronavirus under the Government of the Russian Federation.

3. Promotion of Russian technologies in international markets

Investments and international cooperation will help scale the existing potential, use advanced technologies and dramatically increase the production of test systems and vaccines. Russia is a leader in key detection technologies and creation of vaccines. RDIF has reached a number of agreements with several leading countries on the use of Russian technologies in their combat against coronavirus. Also RDIF partners from the UAE have made a donation to support the development of the Russian vaccine against COVID-19.

RDIF also intends to promote in international markets both the Russian-Japanese test and the developments by the State Scientific Center for Virology and Biotechnology "Vector", which is a unique world-class genetic center.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), said: “From the very beginning of the spread of the virus, RDIF, together with international partners, has been actively searching for the most effective technologies and methods for controlling coronavirus. The activities of the Centre of Expertise will make it possible to quickly find the best methods, which will significantly reduce the time of diagnosis and help scale the most effective world practices. The network of international partnerships with the leading investors around the world strengthens RDIF’s expertise on the best world practices in various fields, including the combat against coronavirus, and enables the promotion of successful Russian technologies in international markets”.

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Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) is Russia's sovereign wealth fund established in 2011 to make equity co-investments, primarily in Russia, alongside reputable international financial and strategic investors. RDIF acts as a catalyst for direct investment in the Russian economy. RDIF’s management company is based in Moscow. Currently, RDIF has experience of the successful joint implementation of more than 70 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.5 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF’s portfolio of companies employs more than 800,000 people and generates revenues which equate to over 6% of Russia’s GDP. RDIF has established joint strategic partnerships with leading international co-investors from more than 15 countries that total more than $40 bn. Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

For additional information contact:

Arseniy Palagin                                     Maria Shiryaevskaya / Andrew Leach

Russian Direct Investment Fund                      Hudson Sandler

Press Secretary                                           Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133 

Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395

Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41

E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru