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Biofarma Group has developed a new reagent liquid for tampons

Biofarma Group has developed a new reagent liquid that allows transportation and storage of the samples from COVID-19 swabs for longer, minimizing the environmental variations of the analysis material. The chemical-physical analysis and microbiology laboratory of the Mereto di Tomba plant tested it in collaboration with the Azienda Sanitaria Universitaria Friuli Centrale.


Supported by the ASU FC researcher of Udine Michela Bulfonithe team of researchers coordinated by Sara Pezzetta (R&D Manager) andEmanuele Nencioni (Q.C. Manager) of the Mereto site carried out the in vitro analyses using technologically advanced tools, working assiduously to develop the patent of this innovative product.

Il nuovo liquido reagente per tamponi: laboratorio e strumenti di ricerca

The features that make it unique

Unlike this, it happens using conventional swabs; in fact, the new reagent fixes and preserves the RNA of the virus and makes it inactive. 


This procedure allows healthcare professionals to conduct the analyses safely and carry them out even after a few days or to repeat them without affecting the storage of the sample or the result. In addition, studies have shown that the reagent, when applied to salivary swabs, increases the clinical sensitivity of the test by 10% compared to pharyngeal nose swabs.


The use of this new system can represent a breakthrough in the procedures for taking and analyzing samples to control COVID-19. Transportation of saliva is valid on more analytical platforms and used on a greater number of instruments,”. – explainsFrancesco Curcio, Professor of Clinical Pathology of the Department of Medical Area of the University of Udine and Director of the Department of Laboratory Medicine of ASU FC, who performed the in vivo validations of the product.


– “Salivary tests are more advantageous than pharyngeal nose tests. Boasting simplicity, invasiveness, speed, and sampling repeatability.”

Attentive to the needs of the territory

The research project was born at the urging of the Hospital of Udine when the need to find reagents and materials for the diagnosis of Covid-19 appeared very critical. In turn, the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region immediately showed great interest in the project, evaluating forms of collaboration to allow the testing phase of the product developed in Mereto di Tomba to take place with the utmost accuracy and speed because of any urgent supply needs. Of diagnostic material due to the exacerbation of the Covid-19 health emergency.

Biofarma Group responded to this need by making the new product available to the Friulian regional health system.

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“The project was not born with commercial intent. On the contrary, the attention to the territory’s needs led us to follow this new path of research and make our wealth of know-how and experience available to the region,” – commentsGermano Scarpa, President of Biofarma Group


“Our Group is strongly rooted in this region. The Research and Development division can count on collaboration with research centers, universities, and start-ups at regional, national, and international levels. Therefore, a natural collaboration with the Hospital of Udine systematized the different skills, leading to this result that can facilitate the work of microbiological investigation of the laboratories that are under great pressure in this period of emergency”. 

Next steps


Experimentation is underway, but it does not stop at these results. The studies that Prof. Curcio is leading to the possibility of using the liquid to search for viral antigens in saliva or detect proteins responsible for distinguishingbetween contagious and non-contagious positives.


After a ‘pilot phase’ helpful in carrying out screenings on the inhabitants of some areas of Friuli Venezia Giulia that has returned excellent results from the point of view of performance and cost sustainability, we are thinking about the possibility of more extensive use of the product. 


Beyond the critical scientific results that it is returning, the intense analytical activity in progress is a source of pride for the whole Group. It is a beautiful example of collaboration between local companies that combine skills and professionalism for a common social good: the protection of health. 


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