In a big boost to India's efforts to ramp up testing for the Novel Coronavirus, the Covid-19 test kit developed by the IIT Delhi has been launched at a base price of Rs 399.
Approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR)) and Drug Control General of India (DCGI), the Covid-19 diagnostic kit named ‘Corosure’ has been commercially developed by a company NewTech Medical Devices after obtaining license from the IIT Delhi.
The company has said that it will manufacture two million kits by next month.
“The base price of the RT-PCR assay is Rs 399," IIT Delhi said in a statement, adding that “even after adding the RNA isolation and laboratory charges, the cost per test will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market".
The institue said that it is 'world's most affordable' RT-PCR based Covid-19 diagnostic kit.
The Covid-19 diagnostic kit was e-launched on Wednesday (15 July) by Union Human Resource Development (HRD) minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank.
During his address at the launch, Nishank said that the Covid-19 diagnostic Kit developed by IIT Delhi is a step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi's vision of a self-reliant India.
He said that India requires cheap and reliable testing for the country which can help to control the pandemic.
"The Corosure has been developed indigenously and is much cheaper than other kits… The kit has received ICMR approval with the highest score and DCGI approval with a very high sensitivity and specificity," the HRD minister said.
Jatin Goyal, founder of Newtech Medical Devices, said, "Using the unique technology developed by IIT Delhi and our expertise in reagent and kit-making, we have ensured an accurate, affordable, Make-in-India kit for the diagnosis of Sars-CoV2, which is a "probe-free" method, and reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy. We are anticipating two million kits by next month.”
IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao informed that other than Corosure, the institute is also working on another testing kit in collaboration with the National Chemical Laboratory (NCL) Pune for easy use by individuals at home for quick results.
In April 2020, IIT Delhi became the first academic institution to obtain the ICMR’s approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay. It was also the first probe-free assay for COVID-19 approved by the ICMR. The assay was validated at the government’s medical research body with a sensitivity and specificity of 100 per cent, the institute said.
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