NEW YORK – FIND and two South Korea-based organizations said Tuesday they will partner on improving access to diagnostic testing in low- and middle-income countries.
Under one memorandum of understanding, FIND and the RIGHT Foundation will support the development of diagnostic platforms, rapid tests, and digital tools. Under another MOU, FIND and the Korea Health Industry Development Institute will support South Korea's diagnostics industry and help meet global health needs.
The RIGHT Foundation is a public-private partnership among the South Korean government, life science companies based in the country, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. The KHIDI is a government-backed organization intended to enhance competence in the healthcare industry and improve public health.
The agreements leverage South Korean firms' capacity to make high-quality tests at scale, their sales and distribution channels in LMICs, and their experience with regulatory agencies and donors to global health causes, the partners said.
Marta Fernández Suárez, FIND's chief technology officer, said in a statement that South Korean firms can help shape healthcare and health systems in emerging markets.
"Our track record of collaboration includes enabling cheap and easy rapid tests for sleeping sickness screening that have been pivotal to disease elimination in several countries, COVID-19 rapid antigen tests for both professional use and self-testing, point-of-care molecular multiplex tests, and expanded access to blood glucose test strips," she said.
FIND said in May it also signed an agreement with VIA Global Health to expand access to diagnostic tests in LMICs by making FIND's DxConnect Marketplace, which connects test buyers with suppliers, available on VIA's online platform.