Coronavirus Pune: Researchers develop 15-minute test kit for COVID-19

ST CORRESPONDENT
Friday, 24 April 2020

“Looking at the situation the entire world is currently in, helping clinicians with Rapid Screening of patients for COVID-19 infection is important. Hence, it was critical to get this product urgently in the market. We standardised and optimised the efficiency until we achieved 100 per cent accuracy”, explained Pawar.

Pune: Taking up the clarion call, the researchers have developed a rapid COVID-19 test kit, the collaborative efforts by Immunoscience India Pvt. Ltd and Biolinx Labsystems Private Limited has created a kit which would give the test results in just 15 minutes. It is as simple as testing the blood and does not require RT PCR test.

While talking to Sakal Times, Biolinx Labsystems scientist, Shrikant Pawar said, “Using the IgM and IgG we have developed it. What separates ImmunoQuick COVID-19 test was the two forms of anti-bodies IgM and IgG into separate bands. This has enormous advantages because clinicians can now separate patients into early infections, active patients and resolved/cured patients.”

Also Read: Pune-based university conceptualises 'wearable hand sanitiser'

“The kit tests the blood plasma or serum and gives the result in 15 minutes. The sensitivity of the test is 97.60 per cent while the specifications are 93.4 per cent”, Pawar added.

He also said that there are 25 stripes in one kit and it costs around Rs 300 to Rs 400, and the aim is to conduct 40,000 tests per day. “There have been bookings and demand from the private hospitals”, Pawar said adding that the government requires a tendering process for it.

“Looking at the situation the entire world is currently in, helping clinicians with Rapid Screening of patients for COVID-19 infection is important. Hence, it was critical to get this product urgently in the market. We standardised and optimised the efficiency until we achieved 100 per cent accuracy”, explained Pawar.

The kit has been approved by the ICMR-National Institute of Virology and has received registration from Central Drugs Standards Organisations (CDSCO) on April 16.

Also Read: Abhijit Pawar, Adar Poonawalla partner with Pune-based Mylab to scale-up production of coronavirus test kits

“This is a game-changer in the fight against Coronavirus in India”, said company director (Technology and operations), Atul Tarde.

Immunoscience is the brainchild of its founder, Dr Sateesh Apte, from Pune but now lives in California. 

Mittal Gor, CEO, Biolinx Labsystems Pvt Ltd said, “We have the best scientific and business team anywhere in the world.”

“Biolinx Labsystems Pvt Ltd. has retained all the distributorship rights as it has poured in all the investment required for getting the product to the market,” said Mittal Gor. “They are delighted to work with the ImmunoScience team to take this journey with them to help our fellow Indians. We have also kept the cost of the product to the minimum from Day 1 even though there is a huge demand and have received a huge booking from all parts of the country,” he added.

“The team has worked at breakneck speed, working night and day, sometimes from home, racing against time to bring this innovative product to market,” said Avinash Tulaskar, Consultant to Immunoscience. Amrut Kare too, has helped in the making of the kit.

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