With the theme “Bioteknolohiya: Pagbangon at Pag-asa tungo sa matatag na Komunidad, Kapaligiran, at Ekonomiya,” the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) is set to join this year’s virtual celebration of the 16th National Biotechnology Week (NBW) by featuring various biotech-related research projects and technologies in health from November 23 to 27, 2020.
The 16th NBW aims to emphasize the positive impact of biotechnology on the various sectors of society as the Filipinos strive to proactively respond to the changing times brought about by different global crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
The biotech-related researches to be featured under the health sector are:
Field Implementation Study of a Locally Developed Diagnostic Kit for the Detection of Corona Virus Disease-2019 (COVID-19)
The project aims to develop mechanisms for rapid assessment, validation, and deployment of the GenAmplify™ COVID-19 RT-PCR Detection Kit and to facilitate the capacity building of health professionals who will utilize the kit in regional hospitals.
Biosurveillance of COVID-19 in the Philippines through Whole Genome Sequencing of SARS-CoV-2 from Patients
The objective of this project is to determine the strains of Sars Cov2 present in individuals who tested positive for the virus through genomic sequencing, correlate them with environmental conditions and identify their possible geographic origin in order to provide a better and deeper understanding of the spread of the virus in aid of tracing and containment of the disease.
IMP-XDP: Investigations on the Molecular Pathogenesis of X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism
This research aims to fill in the gaps in our understanding of the molecular basis of X-linked Dystonia Parkinsonism (XDP), which is a genetic form of a progressive neurodegenerative disorder that affects men of Filipino descent almost exclusively. The earliest symptoms are usually parkinsonian, including resting tremor, slowness of movement, rigidity, poor balance, and a shuffling gait.
Development of Rapid Diagnostic for Detecting Lamivudine Resistance
The third part of three interrelated projects to determine and characterize HIV drug resistance in the Philippines, the development of a rapid diagnostic test for lamivudine and other antiretroviral drug resistance in HIV will ensure that treatment failure and development of further drug resistance will be prevented by detecting resistance early and preserving the limited antiretroviral agents that they have.
Development of Low-Cost Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Simultaneous Detection of Paragonimus westermani and Mycobacterium tuberculosis using RPA Technology
This project hopes to provide a proof of concept data on a better but cheaper alternative diagnostic tool to simultaneously detect Paragonimus westermani, an organism that causes infection resembling pneumonia or stomach flu, and Mycobacterium tuberculosis which is an agent of pulmonary tuberculosis in the Philippines using isothermal amplification, lateral flow immunoassay and detection using nanogold technology.
By virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 1414, NBW is annually celebrated every last week of November. Headed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) this year, the event is co-organized by the Commission on Higher Education (CHED), Biotechnology Coalition of the Philippine, Departments of Agriculture, Science and Technology, Interior and Local Government, and Trade and Industry.
DOST-PCHRD encourages everyone to participate in the week-long celebration and to attend the virtual opening ceremony on November 23, 2020 by registering through https://bit.ly/16thNBWOpening.