10 June 2020, Geneva, Switzerland - The Stop TB Partnership today announced that its Global Drug Facility (GDF) will distribute 100,000 Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 tests donated by Cepheid towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Xpert® Xpress SARSCoV-2 is a rapid molecular diagnostic test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2, the virus causing COVID-19. The test has been designed to operate on any of the more than 23,000 GeneXpert® Systems worldwide, with a detection time of approximately 45 minutes.
“With more than 11,000 systems in low- and middle-income countries, we are pleased to provide additional access to testing and help contain the COVID-19 pandemic around the world. The Stop TB Partnership’s Global Drug Facility is an ideal partner that has heavily contributed over the years to the deployment of GeneXpert and Xpert MTB/RIF tests globally,” said Philippe Jacon, SVP Global Access.
These tests will further expand equitable, geographic access for countries with insufficient funding to procure the tests, complementing quantities allocated by Cepheid to the World Health Organization Diagnostics Consortium, where the Global Fund serves as the leading funder and procurer of Cepheid tests.
Through this donation, GDF will also allocate Xpert® Xpress SARS-CoV-2 tests to selected research programs aiming to generate evidence that can inform future approaches to managing the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We in Stop TB GDF supplied Xpert instruments and TB tests to more than 70 countries over the past 10 years. It is important to ensure that we continue this work to accelerate access to tests for COVID-19 while ensuring uninterrupted testing for TB,” said Dr. Lucica Ditiu, Executive Director, Stop TB Partnership.
Global rollout of Xpert systems to diagnose TB now provides an efficient platform to accelerate testing for the new coronavirus. The ability of Xpert platforms to test for both COVID-19 and TB will also facilitate a coordinated procurement approach across disease programs.
The 100,000 cartridges were donated by Cepheid with in-kind and transport costs covered by Stop TB Partnership’s GDF.