May 11 2020  |  Spirits & Tobacco

Viña Concha y Toro certifies its research laboratory to diagnose COVID-19

By Laura Shirk


Together with certifying its molecular biology laboratory to detect COVID-19, the company provided equipment to other institutions to increase their diagnostic capacity and plans to donate 50,000 liters of hand sanitizer

In response to the complex health crisis in Chile and the rest of the world, Viña Concha y Toro disclosed two major initiatives included in its contribution to the Private Emergency Health Fund led by Chile’s Confederation of Production and Commerce (CPC).

The molecular biology laboratory run by Viña Concha y Toro’s Center for Research and Innovation (CRI) has been certified by Universidad Católica del Maule's (UCM) Biomedical Research Laboratory to operate under the supervision of the Maule Region Health Service. The team will carry out diagnostic tests to detect SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19, as part of a network of laboratories connected by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

The capabilities of the CRI’s molecular biology laboratory include process robotization and automation, with use of the Hamilton Microlab STARLet robotic pipettor, which enables the processing of 2,300 samples per day and a qPCR Thermofisher QuantStudio 5, which offers a diagnostic capacity of 768 samples per day.

“We want to collaborate with our capabilities to overcome this health crisis, supporting prevention and early diagnosis. As part of our contribution to the Private Emergency Health Fund, together with the donation of hand sanitizer to health authorities, we have also made our cutting-edge technological equipment and team of professionals at the Center for Research and Innovation available to them,” says Eduardo Guilisasti, CEO of Viña Concha y Toro.

This milestone complements the first stage of implementing complementary capacity to strengthen the diagnostic system and includes the provision of RNA extraction equipment to UCM and Talca Hospital. Additionally, purification kits to carry out 1,500 RNA extractions will be donated and the company will provide advisors in work teams coordinated by the Ministry of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

“The organized scientific community is currently performing a special task to fight this pandemic. Thanks to the coordination of five regional Ministry of Science offices—together with teams from the Ministry of Health, the Public Health Institute and the generosity of the scientific community, academic community and private sector—today our country stands out for its coordinated and decentralized COVID-19 diagnostic capacity,” adds Andrés Couve, Minister of Science, Technology, Knowledge and Innovation.

Plus, Viña Concha y Toro plans to donate 50,000 liters of hand sanitizer in different formats to health authorities including the COVID-19 diagnostic laboratories network. Of this total, 40,000 liters of hand sanitizer prepared by Winkler using the company’s alcohol will be provided and 10,000 liters will be produced by Viña Concha y Toro’s Lontué Plant and delivered for local distribution.

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