Orfeu programme

IRB Barcelona joined forces with the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG), the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG), as requested by Generalitat de Catalunya, to set up mass testing for citizens to stop the spread of the new coronavirus outbreak.

There were two mass testing sites – one coordinated by the CRG at its labs at the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park (PRBB) and another at the Parc Cientific de Barcelona, jointly coordinated by IRB Barcelona, IBEC and the Centro Nacional de Análisis Genómico (CNAG-CRG).

The mass testing sites were be used to detect infected people both during the lockdown and as measures were progressively relaxed. The aim was to allow citizens to better isolate the sick, lower infection rates, let essential workers get back to work and save lives.

"At IRB Barcelona, we are proudly adapting our activity in order to stand by society in this critical health crisis,” said Dr. Francesc Posas, IRB Barcelona Director. “Massive testing is key to controlling the spread of the virus, and the whole IRB community is helping people to return to their lives, their jobs and, as a society, to get back on our feet again”.

“The CRG, IRB, IBEC have the labs, people, expertise and dedication to support the country through its biggest challenge in recent history,” said Dr. Luis Serrano, Director of the Centre for Genomic Regulation. “I am proud of our researchers, technicians and administration, all of who have come together at breakneck speed to volunteer their efforts. We need to beat this pandemic together, which is why we will be working non-stop to fight this crisis.”


The Minister of Enteprise and Knowledge, Àngels Chacón - the Government Department that promoted this project together with Salut - expressed satisfaction with the involvement of these research centers, which "is yet another example of how the entire knowledge system in Catalonia is making a decisive contribution to the global scientific effort in the context of the global health crisis, strengthening the role of our country as one of the leaders in Europe and the world ".

The mass testing sites used real-time PCR (RT-PCR) to look for the presence of coronavirus genetic material in samples. The tests have been compared and verified to meet the national standard set by Spanish hospitals, as well as those in Europe, the United States, Israel and further afield.

Thank you!

We would like to thank all those who contributed to our achievements in 2020.
Our hope is to bring biomedical advances to society.
Our goal, to improve people’s quality of life.