There’s a beacon of hope in the country’s fight to protect the pork industry after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Manila HealthTek (MTek)’s  Asian swine fever (ASF) kit,  giving hog farmers a more affordable yet highly effective testing scheme for the fatal pig disease.

An external respected national reference animal testing laboratory validated MTek’s ASF Kit, a molecular-based testing platform, and found it to be 100 percent sensitive and specific.

Dr. Raul Destura, founder and CEO of MTek says the kit is cheap as it is locally manufactured.

“Because it is locally manufactured, it will cost less. In fact, it is the cheapest RT-PCR testing for ASF in the market,” Destura said.

The highly contagious, often deadly pig disease, continues to threaten not just food security but the livelihood of local farmers. Quick detection is needed to ensure rapid response and containment of the disease.

The local biotech firm is preparing its nationwide rollout, which it expects to start before the year ends.

“We want to reach out, most especially to the small producers, who do not have a biosecurity system in place that bigger farms have,” adds Destura.

MTek is the country’s first and only biotech company in diagnostics, which has been presenting diagnostics solutions to the country’s pressing concerns.

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

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