Chilean company GenoSUR has developed a portable medical device/field sample collection kit for COVID-19, helping infected patients to avoid the emergency room. The device inactivates pathogens found in the sample (viruses, bacteria or fungus) and allows the sample to be transported without cold storage. By doing so, it solves three critical problems that most countries face when diagnosing COVID-19.
GenoSUR has been working in medical device R&D since 2017, with a special focus on genetic material and pathogens sampling.
CEO and founder Matías Gutiérrez, a biochemist and PhD in Biotechnology from Universidad de Chile, states that GenoSUR started with remote molecular diagnostic devices in 2017 when they developed a genetic analysis kit for a US company. Seeing the quick advance of COVID-19, they decided to join forces with Grupo Cellus and Gene X-press and create a solution for the crisis. “We just connected the dots, the technology was done. We are living a global emergency and Chilean innovation can help face this pandemic. We already received requests for over 1 million devices from national authorities and international consultations.”
Matías adds that the best part of this innovation is that it is manufactured in Chile. To meet the requirements of their US client, GenoSUR hired nearly 70 people, and the staff is continously growing in order to meet national and international demand. "We are implementing protocols with specialized companies and some municipalities, in order to guarantee the safety of our staff, for example not using public transportation to get to work." explains Matías.
GenoSUR is part of the first generation of the Go Global innovation program, a ProChile and CORFO initiative that looks to guide entrepreneurs and ease their arrival in innovation hubs such as the United States. Today they are based in Miami, where they own a laboratory and are part the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC), one of the most relevant contributors to the technology and innovation ecosystem.
Healthtech is one of the areas that ProChile is focused on supporting, while facilitating the entry of Chilean companies into the North American market. Given the situation, the fact that a Chilean company is responding so fast and efficient to a global contingency, sets an important example and generates confidence in the industry " adds Germán Rocca, Commercial Director of ProChile in Miami.