RDIF announces the production of the first 200 litres of biomass in Russia to enable the manufacture of one million high-quality rapid detection tests for COVID-19

Press release, 06.04.2020

Moscow, April 6, 2020 – The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), Russia’s sovereign wealth fund, announces that Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the research and production company “Combiotech”, in partnership with the Russian-Japanese company EMG, have selected raw materials, scaled the process and produced a first batch of 200 litres of cell culture fluid biomass. The resulting high yield of the target product will enable EMG to produce up to one million high-quality rapid tests for the detection of COVID-19.

The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and “Combiotech” manufacture biomass to produce DNA polymerase - an enzyme which is one of the key components of the Russian-Japanese express testing system. Existing facilities will make it possible to cultivate up to 2,000 litres of biomass in a period of up to two weeks, which, in turn, will enable the production of up to 10 million rapid tests. The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and “Combiotech” will continue to manufacture and supply this key component for EMG tests at the rate of up to 2,000 litres per week.

Previously RDIF invested in the production and distribution of the Russian-Japanese diagnostic system EMG - Evotech-Mirai Genomics, which is one of the world’s most accurate and fastest systems for the detection of coronavirus. Results are achieved in just 30 minutes. A range of testing systems has been adapted for use in both fixed laboratories and unique portable mini-laboratories (the size of a small suitcase) which can be used anywhere, including hospitals and public institutions such as schools, offices, airports and train stations. The system has been approved by the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare (Roszdravnadzor) for use in the Russian Federation.

Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund, said:
“Manufacture of the most important component for the production of high-accuracy EMG test systems has been launched in Russia by the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry and “Combiotech” alongside Japanese partners. This will significantly increase the volume of tests delivered and increase the effectiveness of measures taken by Russia to combat the spread of coronavirus infection. RDIF continues to work actively with the leading Russian scientific research centres and manufacturing companies to implement projects to counteract COVID-19.”

Dr. Alexander Gabibov, Director of Shemyakin and Ovchinnikov Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Academician, said:
“COVID-19 is forcing physicians and biotechnologists to respond to a number of challenges. The Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry jointly with RDIF and “Combiotech” launched the production of the enzyme for express-testing system. The support of partners such as RDIF enables the progress in other important areas, including the detection of antibodies and the development of a vaccine, and helps us quickly exchange advanced scientific achievements globally in order to work out the necessary solutions as soon as possible through joint efforts”.

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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 80 projects with foreign partners totaling more than RUB1.7 tn and covering 95% of the regions of the Russian Federation. RDIF portfolio companies employ more than 800,000 people and generate revenues which equate to more than 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.

RDIF takes active steps to counteract COVID-19:

  • Jointly with Japan’s K.K. Mirai Genomics, RDIF has invested in the production and distribution of the Russian-Japanese diagnostic system EMG - Evotech-Mirai Genomics, which is one the world’s most accurate and fastest systems for the detection of coronavirus. Results are achieved in just 30 minutes. A range of testing systems has been adapted for use in both fixed laboratories and unique portable mini-laboratories (the size of a small suitcase) which can be used anywhere, including hospitals and public institutions such as schools, offices, airports and train stations. The system has been approved by the Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare (Roszdravnadzor) for use in the Russian Federation;
  • Jointly with the ChemRar Group, RDIF is launching the production of Favipiravir, a drug that has proven effective in the treatment of infected patients in China;
  • RDIF was one of the initiators of the Alliance against coronavirus, which also included the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RUIE), Yandex, Mail.ru Group and the Rossiya Segodnya international news agency;
  • Alongside Rossiya Segodnya, RDIF has published a unique “Handbook of COVID-19 Prevention and Treatment”, based on China’s experience in the fight against coronavirus. The Handbook is available at: https://rdif.ru/data/file/COVID_19_Book.pdf

Further information can be found at www.rdif.ru

For additional information contact:
Arseniy Palagin
Russian Direct Investment Fund
Press Secretary
Tel: +7 495 644 34 14, ext. 2395
Mobile: +7 916 110 31 41
E-mail: arseniy.palagin@rdif.ru

Andrew Leach / Maria Shiryaevskaya
Hudson Sandler
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7796 4133