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DRDO develops new kit to detect Covid-19 in 75 minutes

DRDO develops new kit to detect Covid-19 in 75 minutes

Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a new kit for detecting the Covid-19 infection with an accuracy of 97 to 99%, according to defence ministry statement issued on Friday.

The new kit called DIPCOVAN enables the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies in human serum targeting SARS-CoV-2 related antigens. It offers a significantly faster turn-around- ime as it requires just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross reactivity with other diseases. The kit has a shelf life of 18 months.

The antibody detection-based kit 'DIPCOVAN' is based on sero-surveillance and has successfully tested on more than 1,000 patient samples at various COVID designated hospitals in Delhi. Three batches of the product were validated during last one year. The antibody detection kit is approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in April 2021.

The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97 per cent and specificity of 99 per cent. The kit has been developed in association with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a development and manufacturing diagnostics company based at New Delhi.

Industry partner Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd will commercially launch the product during the first week of June 2021. Readily available stock at the time of launch will be 100 kits (approx. 10,000 tests) with a production capacity of 500 kits/month after the launch. It is expected to be available at about Rs 75 per test.

The DIPCOVAN kit was developed indigenously by scientists of Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a DRDO laboratory, In May 2021, the product received the regulatory approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to manufacture for sale and distribution.

The kit will be very useful for understanding COVID‐19 epidemiology and assessing an individual's previous SARS‐CoV‐2 exposure.

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated the efforts of DRDO and the industry in developing the kit at the time of need.

Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy complimented the teams involved in developing the kit and said the initiative will help the people during the pandemic.