ICMR approves IIT-Delhi's low-cost COVID-19 test kit Corosure, will cost Rs 650 and delivers results in three hours
IIT Delhi has given non-exclusive open licence to 10 companies for commercialising the test with a price rider of R 500 for the assay needed for testing.
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) in Delhi was launched on Wednesday.
According to IIT officials, the base price of 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 up to Rs 650 and will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market. It can deliver results within three hours.
HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' launched the test kit named "Corosure" 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.
The kit Corosure has been commercialised by Newtech Medical Devices.
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.
Speaking on the occasion, Shri Pokhriyal said that Corosure, COVID-19 Diagnostic Kit developed by Indian Institute of Technology Delhi is a step towards Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi's vision of a self-reliant India. pic.twitter.com/V3hvXQDUCa
— IIT Delhi (@iitdelhi) July 15, 2020
"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 present in the country, the updated data at 8 am showed.
Most of the cases have been reported from North 24 Parganas, Howrah, Kolkata, Hooghly, Murshidabad, South 24 Parganas, Jalpaiguri and Darjeeling districts
The active cases comprise 0.10 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate increased to 98.71 per cent.
Moderna will not bow to China’s coercion, refuses to give COVID-19 vaccine recipe over ‘safety’ concerns
China hasn’t approved any foreign vaccine and has been insisting on sharing the technology behind the Moderna vaccine as a prerequisite for allowing its sale in the country