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Bluephage introduces its Easy Kits for Water Testing in Africa to detect pathogenic viruses
Bluephage has virtually signed a deal with a South African distributor during the pandemic to expand into the African market with the support from ACCIÓ through the Foreign Trade and Investment Office in Johannesburg
Bluephage has signed an agreement with a South African distributor to introduce its water analysis system to detect coliphages in water. This is Bluephage’s first project in the African market, where it will market its analysis kits in laboratories and water supply and treatment companies in the country’s main cities.
To sign this agreement, Bluephage has had the support of ACCIÓ -the agency for business competitiveness, which is part of the Department of Business and Knowledge- through the Foreign Trade and Investment Office in Johannesburg. However, the company has virtually sealed the agreement due to the pandemic derived from COVID-19, which has prevented them from traveling.
The analysis system developed by Bluephage is based on the study of bacteriophages, a type of virus that infects bacteria. According to the company’s commercial director, Núria Guilera, “until now we studied the state of the water through other microbiological parameters such as bacterial indicators, but it has recently become clear that the presence of bacteriophages is an important indicator of water quality, allowing a more detailed check to determine whether it is in good condition.”
According to Bluephage’s commercial director, the African market was of particular interest to us “because there is a robust research ecosystem in the field of bacteriophages”. “We are working on the international expansion of the company, and we recognize South Africa as a great opportunity to introduce our solution to the whole continent, as it is probably a market closer to ours and with a similar water management system,” she explains.
Bluephage has recently obtained the B Corp certificate for its social and environmental commitment. According to the company’s CEO, Enric Queralt, “we are very pleased because we are the first biotechnology company specializing in water analysis to achieve this recognition”. Moreover, according to Queralt, this certificate “reinforces our social commitment to help millions of people worldwide obtain drinking water for drinking, hygiene and agricultural uses”.
Founded in 2016, Bluephage is a spin-off of the University of Barcelona. It has an international presence in several European countries (Portugal, France, and the Czech Republic, among others) and is working on an expansion strategy to enter more markets on the continent and America and Oceania, besides Africa.