Manila HealthTek (MTek), the country’s first and only biotech diagnostics business, offers another diagnostics answer to one of the country’s urgent problems — the African Swine Fever or ASF.

In an issued statement Tuesday (August 9), MTek announced the development of a molecular-based testing platform for ASF, a contagious viral disease that affects pigs.

MTek claims that an external renowned national reference animal testing laboratory-verified their locally produced ASF kit, which was proven to be 100 percent sensitive and specific.

Dr. Raul Destura, founder and CEO of MTek, says “ASF threatens not just the livelihood of our Filipino farmers but also our food security. With many Filipinos struggling to put food on the table amid the pandemic, a pork crisis on top of that problem would be tragic. Quick detection is imperative to ensure rapid response and containment of the disease.”

Once approved by the FDA the diagnostic kits will be distributed throughout the country, including remote areas.

The ASF kit is just one of MTek’s contributions to finding diagnostics solutions to the country’s health problems. For the past five years, this group of Filipino scientists has been working hard to find solutions to the health problems of fellow Filipinos.

“We do not just want to sit in the side-lines while our foreign counterparts find solutions to our own health problems,” says Dr. Destura.

Destura, in collaboration with other institutions, has also led the development of Biotek-M DengueAqua Kit, a gold medalist at the 46th International Exhibition of Inventions in Geneva, Switzerland in 2018, and the GenAmplify Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) RT-PCR test kit, the Philippine-developed COVID-19 testing kit.