"World's most affordable COVID diagnostic kit" developed by IIT Delhi launches at ₹399
Approved by the Indian Medical Council of India and Drug Control General of India, the low-cost testking kit named ‘Corosure’ was commercially developed by a company named NewTech Medical Devices after obtaining license from the IIT.
Claimed to be the world's most affordable diagnostic kit for coronavirus, a low-cost test kit developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) was launched on Wednesday.
Approved by the Indian Medical Council of India and Drug Control General of India, the product named ‘Corosure’ was commercially developed by a company named NewTech Medical Devises after obtaining license from the IIT. Two million testing kits will be manufactured by next month, Newtech Medical Devises told Mint.
According to IIT officials, the base price of the the RT-PCR assay developed by IIT Delhi is Rs 399. Even after adding the RNA isolation and laboratory charges, the cost per test will go upto Rs 650 and will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market. It can deliver results within three hours, they 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."
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' launched this "Corosure" kit which will now be available for use at authorised testing labs.
"The Corosure Kit has been developed indigenously and is much cheaper than other kits. The country requires cheap and reliable testing for the country which can help control the pandemic. The kit has received ICMR approval with the highest score and DCGI approved with a very high sensitivity and specificity," he said at the launch.
Referring it to as world's most affordable COVID-19 diagnostic kit, the HRD Minister said the innovation is a step towards "Make in India".
IIT Delhi, which became the first academic institute to get ICMR nod for a COVID-19 testing method, gave non-exclusive open licence to 10 companies for commercialising the test, but with a price rider of R 500 for the assay needed for testing.
How Does It Work?
According to the team at IIT Delhi, the current testing methods available are "probe-based", while the one developed by them is a "probe-free" method, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy.
Using comparative sequence analyses, the IIT Delhi team identified unique regions (short stretches of RNA sequences) in the COVID-19 and SARS COV-2 genome.
"These unique regions are not present in other human coronaviruses providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19," Professor Vivekanandan Perumal, lead member of the team, had said.
"Primer sets, targeting unique regions in the spike protein of COVID-19, were designed and tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The primers designed by the group specifically bind to regions conserved in over 200 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes. The sensitivity of this in-house assay is comparable to that of commercially available kits," Perumal added.
India saw a record single-day jump of 29,429 COVID-19 cases pushing its tally to 9,36,181 on Wednesday, while the death toll climbed to 24,309 with 582 new fatalities, according to the Union Health Ministry data. This is the fourth consecutive day that COVID-19 cases have increased by more than 28,000.
The number of recoveries stands at 5,92,031, while there are 3,19,840 active cases of coronavirus infection presently in the country, the updated data at 8 am showed.
(With PTI inputs)