Monday, May 20, 2013

Saudi coronavirus work stymied at Canadian lab

20 May 2013
The National Microbiology Laboratory in Winnipeg is working with a sample of the new coronavirus that’s causing clusters of infections abroad — but can't share the material with other researchers across the country despite the public health urgency.
It was a Dutch lab that sent a Saudi sample of the virus to Winnipeg, where scientists are looking for better ways to diagnose and treat the infection. So far, 41 confirmed cases and 20 deaths have been recorded.

But before they could start, officials had to sign a material transfer agreement, a contract that outlines the terms and conditions for using the coronavirus sample.
The Dutch "had pretty tight restrictions around how it could be used," Frank Plummer, scientific director of the National Microbiology Laboratory, said in an interview. "So there was a lot of negotiation and a lot of lawyers involved both with us and the Americans and others around the world, which slowed things down quite a bit." 


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