ICMR Approves Affordable COVID-19 Test Kit Developed By IISC Startup

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Bengaluru: Equine Biotech, a startup of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit for accurate and affordable diagnosis of COVID-19.

The test kit, based on Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), has been approved for use in authorised COVID-19 diagnostic labs by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), according to the Bengaluru-based IISc.

The test takes about one-and-a-half hours to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples, said Equine Biotech founder Prof. Utpal Tatu of the Department of Biochemistry, IISc.

“Our startup has been working on testing for coronavirus infections for many years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. This experience has helped us engineer the kit for COVID-19,” Tatu said.

The startup claims it’s an easy-to-use, multiplex RT-PCR kit with 100 per cent specificity, and its run time is relatively short when compared to other kits.

They are seeking a licence for the COVID-19 test kit and work with med-tech companies and other industries for mass production, marketing and distribution.

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