Canadian Manufacturing

Sinai Health receives COVID-19 testing equipment from BGI Group

BGI has collaborated with Sinai Health since 2017

May 15, 2020  by CM Staff

Technicians with MGISP-960 automated sample preparation and liquid handling system at Mount Sinai Hospital Microbiology lab

TORONTO – On May 14, BGI Group, a genomics company headquartered in Shenzhen, China, announced that Toronto-based hospital and research network Sinai Health will receive a donation from The Mammoth Foundation of key laboratory equipment to increase its COVID-19 detection capability.

The Mammoth Foundation, a non-profit based in Shenzhen, has donated testing equipment produced by BGI Group, in addition to installation, training and logistics support. At the heart of this donation, among other equipment, is the MGISP-960 automated viral RNA extraction and sample preparation robot which will reduce manual processing time, increasing testing efficiency and safety. The equipment is part of BGI’s testing workflow approved for use by Health Canada.

Nucleic acid testing is essential for clinical diagnosis and for containing further spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. With this donation, Sinai Health said in a statement it hopes to raise COVID-19 testing throughput by an additional 1,000-2,000 samples per day to support the urgent need for additional testing capacity in Ontario.

“Sinai Health Foundation is grateful for the ongoing partnership and generosity of The Mammoth Foundation and BGI Group. This equipment will further enable Sinai Health to support testing in the Province of Ontario,” said Louis de Melo, CEO, Sinai Health Foundation, in a prepared statement.

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On May 4, BGI announced its Real-Time Fluorescent RT-PCR Kit for Detecting SARS-CoV-2 received Health Canada approval for importing and commercial distribution in Canada.

BGI has collaborated with Sinai Health since 2017, including a biomarker study with the Lunenfeld-Tanenbaum Research Institute for preterm birth risk funded by Genome Canada.