April 2020

Diagnostic tests for countries across the world

Diagnostic tests are recognised as one of the most important tools in the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

This fact puts Amir Kanji (Economics and Accounting 1965), CEO and director at Biomed Diagnostics in Oregon, USA, at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. Amir and his team have been working to produce diagnostic tests for countries all over the globe.

“From day one I was responding to calls from healthcare facilities and hospitals,” says Amir. “These were customers that Biomed Diagnostics has been serving for years, and they were now desperately seeking testing kits for COVID-19.”

Their reasoning was simple. Diagnostic tests help to isolate infected individuals, and therefore stop the spread of the virus. But in practice, for Amir and his teams, producing tests in large quantities is no easy process – particularly given Biomed Diagnostics are working under restrictions themselves.

“The new rules have meant that our employees need to work in shifts, practicing safe distancing, and others are working from home wherever possible. That’s not to mention the fact that many of the companies we work with to produce our products – so laboratories and state government facilities – are either overly busy or not operational.”

"Ultimately, our mission is to reach out not only to the wealthy nations, but also to poorly resourced countries in fighting the war against COVID-19."

Amir Kanji
CEO and Director, Biomed Diagnostics Inc.

Regardless, there was no question that they had to perform the crucial work. “Despite the difficulties, Biomed has a team of scientists who are at the forefront of developing and providing diagnostic tools for the detection of COVID-19. Our priority has been in developing the Virus Transport Mechanism (VTM), a device needed to transport the test specimen to the laboratory for analysis and which is in critical shortage worldwide.”

The development of the VTM is a process Amir is coordinating personally, given its global significance. “Currently, we have identified several areas of critical need for the VTM, including the US, the UK, Canada, South Asia and Africa. But ultimately, our mission is to reach out not only to the wealthy nations, but also to poorly resourced countries in fighting the war against COVID-19.”

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that the work of Amir and Biomed Diagnostics has and will continue to save thousands of lives across the world.