Roche says it has provided Dutch with key corona test recipe

Swiss pharmaceuticals firm Roche says it has been ‘happy’ to offer the specifics for production of a key chemical in testing for coronavirus to the Dutch government, but said again that the information is available on the internet anyway.

‘There is no shortage of Roche’s lysis buffer solution as of today and there is no patent protection on the lysis buffer itself,’ Roche told in a statement.

By sharing the specifics with the Dutch government, they will be ‘enabled to find potential other producers for the lysis buffer,’ Roche said.

Nevertheless, according to broadcaster RTL, the recipe for lysis buffer which is on the internet dates from 30 years ago and may not contain the same proportion of components as the Roche liquid.

And Roche itself warned that the company ‘cannot guarantee safety and reliability of the quality and test results if the lysis buffer required for the test is manufactured by third parties.’

In addition, the company’s Dutch director told television talk show Jinek on Thursday night that safety and reliability of lysis buffer made by others cannot be guaranteed.

Dutch media reported this week that one reason the Netherlands has carried out so few coronavirus tests is the shortage of chemicals and apparatus. Some 80% of Dutch testing labs use Roche equipment.

Health minister Hugo de Jonge said on Thursday that he was in talks with Roche about acquiring the recipe for the lysis buffer, which breaks down cells and is a key component in the test process.

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