Biotech company sues Belgian state over unpaid coronavirus tests
Wednesday, 05 August 2020
ZenTech, a biotech company from Liège, is starting summary proceedings against the Belgian state for not paying for an order of 1.25 million coronavirus (Covid-19) antibody tests, L’Echo reports on Wednesday.
“We only ask that the state comply with the signed contract,” said Eric Poskin, spokesman for ZenTech.
The Belgian state placed an order for 3.65 million tests with ZenTech in mid-April at a cost of €20 million. The federal medicines agency, the FAMHP, approved the tests at that time.
A first batch of 200,000 tests was produced in April, and 800,000 followed the next month, with another 250,000 at the end of June. But there was no sign of life from the government, according to L’Echo.
Philippe De Backer, the minister in charge, told the media at the beginning of July that he wanted to re-examine the order, as recent analyses showed that antibodies disappeared after a few months. This made it less useful to clarify who was infected or not. But there was no concrete proposal, L’Echo reported.
On Monday evening, ZenTech finally received a request to wait until 15 September, prompting the company to go to court. A verdict is expected at the end of August.
De Backer is “not impressed,” he told francophone broadcaster RTBF. His cabinet “is negotiating with them, in a constructive atmosphere,” he said, not continuing further on the matter.