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Thursday, August 05, 2021

Covid test for Rs 50 launched by IIT Delhi

“IIT Delhi disrupted the RT-PCR market with a Rs 399 probe-free RT PCR kit launched in July 2020. Over 8 million high quality PPE kits are supplied so far, using the technology developed at IIT Delhi,” IIT-D Director V Ramgopal Rao said in a Facebook post.

Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi |
Updated: June 26, 2021 8:59:56 am
Minister of State for Education Shri Sanjay Dhotre launched a Rapid Antigen Test kit for COVID-19 developed by IIT Delhi today. (Photo: Twitter @IITDelhi)

Minister of State for Education Sanjay Dhotre Friday launched an “affordable” and “accurate” Rapid Antigen Test kit for Covid developed by The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

The kit costs just Rs 50, and is hundred per cent indigenously developed and manufactured. The Antigen testing kit has been developed by IIT-D’s Centre for Biomedical Engineering (CBME) led by Professor Harpal Singh.

“IIT Delhi disrupted the RT-PCR market with a Rs 399 probe-free RT PCR kit launched in July 2020. Over 8 million high quality PPE kits are supplied so far, using the technology developed at IIT Delhi,” IIT-D Director V Ramgopal Rao said in a Facebook post.

During the launch of the Covid test kit. (Photo: Twitter @IITDelhi)

“A rapid diagnostic kit is now being launched by the institute costing Rs 50 (~70 cents) for Covid 19. Prof Harpal Singh and his team from CBME have developed this technology. The technology has been patented by IIT Delhi,” he wrote.

At the launch Friday, Dhotre congratulated the institute for developing affordable technology. “I am confident that this technology will revolutionise the Covid test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi,” he said.

He also complimented researchers Harpal Singh and Dinesh Kumar and thanked IIT Delhi for “helping the nation in becoming Atmanirbhar in fighting the pandemic using indigenously developed technologies and made in India products”.

Speaking on the occasion, Rao said, “With the launch of this Antigen-based rapid test kit, we hope to make the diagnostics easy and affordable for the rural areas.”

Professor Harpal Singh said the kit will be used for in vitro qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen.

“SARS-CoV-2 Ag Rapid Test is a colloidal gold enhanced double antibody sandwich immunoassay for the qualitative determination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human nasal swabs, throat swabs and deep sputum samples. It is suitable for general population screening and diagnosis of Covid-19,” he said.

“The identification is based on the monoclonal antibodies specific for the coronavirus antigen. The results obtained are qualitative based and can be inferred visually with naked eye. A SARS-CoV-2 positive specimen produces a distinct color band in the test region… Absence of this colored band in the test region suggests a negative result,” said Singh.

He said the test was “found to be suitable for early Ct values (Ct values between 14 to 32) with a Sensitivity- 90%, Specificity- 100% and Accuracy- 98.99%, and certified by the ICMR.”

“These are the one of the best available values for any such test kits,” said Singh.

“IIT Delhi has filed patent application for the developed technology and awarded license to two companies in the country for its commercial rollout. M/s Dia Sure Immunodiagnostic LLP, is now entering the market with this kit, fixing the cost at Rs. 50/ per test,” the institute said in a statement.

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