KEMRI partners with Roche Diagnostics to strengthen HIV/AIDS response in Kenya

Kenyan Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) has partnered with Roche Diagnostics, the Swiss based world’s largest manufacturer of biotech medicines and a leader in state-of-the-art diagnostics to unveil the second state of the art HIV Viral Load Testing and monitoring laboratory in Kenya.

The new instrument, the Cobas® 8800, is housed at the KEMRI headquarters in Nairobi, is the second of its kind in Kenya following the installation of another one at KEMRI’s Centre for Global Health Research in Kisumu in 2016.
The new laboratory has a capacity to test more than 300,000 Kenyans living with HIV and is housing Roche Diagnostics’ flagship high throughput system for HIV Viral Load Testing which helps minimise the amount of time taken to analyse HIV samples in addition to providing more accurate results.

Through the Public-Private Partnership between KEMRI and Roche Diagnostics, the latter will also provide training for Kenyan laboratory technicians to operate the new system and provide sustainable pricing for the HIV Reagents through Roche Diagnostics’ access pricing as part of the company’s Global Access Program.

“I am really excited to be here in Nairobi at the launch of this important partnership with KEMRI. As Roche we are proud to be able to help make a difference to the lives of patients with HIV/AIDS.” said Dr. Severin Schwan.
The UNAIDS 90:90:90 goals target that by 2020, 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their status, 90 percent of these will receive sustainable antiretroviral treatment and 90 percent of those on treatment will have sustainable suppression of their virus. According to a report by
Kenya Aids Strategic Framework, counties around the lake region of Nyanza have the highest number of HIV infections. Roche Diagnostics has been in Kenya for more than 20 years and has
more than 30 permanent employees.

Speakers’ quotes:
The Chief Administrative Secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Rashid Aman, hailed the new instrument’s support for the Government of Kenya’s commitment to provide universal health care to every citizen by 2022, together with the health goals outlined in the Vision 2030 blueprint through the strengthening of HIV and AIDS response in Kenya.

On the other hand, Chairman, KEMRI Board of Management, Dr. Napthali Agata, commended Roche Diagnostics for their continued support of the Ministry of Health in Kenya saying the new technology of HIV Viral Load testing and monitoring is an essential requirement in not only monitoring patient’s response to treatment but also reducing the traditional waiting time in experienced in analysing of collected samples.
KEMRI Director and Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Yeri Kombe said the newly launched laboratory equipment marks significant milestones in the fight against HIV and AIDS in Kenya and commended Roche Diagnostics for the continued partnership with KEMRI. He added that this new facility will be a big boost towards realizing not only the institutions’ mission of improving
human health and quality of life through research, capacity building, innovation and service delivery but also towards achieving the Universal Health Coverage.

About Roche
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.

Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system.
Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. Thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicine

Roche has been recognised as the Group Leader in sustainability within the Pharmaceuticals, Biotechnology & Life Sciences Industry nine years in a row by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2017 employed about 94,000 people worldwide. In 2017, Roche invested CHF 10.4 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 53.3 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical,
Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.co