Low-cost COVID-19 test developed by SCTIMST launched commercially

Low-cost COVID-19 test developed by SCTIMST launched commercially
Source : Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology Team Careers360 | May 21, 2020 - 9:39 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: Agappe Chitra Magna, a kit for detection of COVID-19, was commercially launched by VK Saraswat, president of Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology, Trivandrum, on Thursday, a statement from the ministry of science and technology said.

Saraswat is also a member of the government's think tank, NITI Aayog.

Agappe Chitra Magna is a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit required for use during testing for detection of COVID-19.

The team

The kit was developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum,along with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, an in vitro diagnostics manufacturing company based in Cochin.

Describing it as a crucial step to combat the pandemic and an example for the world to emulate, Saraswat said: “The commercial launch of the kit is a major step to make India self-reliant in detecting COVID 19 and can help increase the rate of testing and bring down its costs.”

Ashutosh Sharma, secretary, Department of Science and Technology (DST), who was also present during the launch said, “Multidisciplinary lateral thinking and industry involvement right from the beginning allowed the technology to be developed into a product that was suited to meet the need of the hour.”

The product will be available in the market as Agappe Chitra Magna RNA Isolation Kit which has been validated at National Institute of Virology for Covid19 RNA isolation.

Approval and cost

Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) has approved the commercialization of the kit.

According to estimates, India would be requiring 8 lakh RNA extraction kits per month for the next six months.

Agappe Chitra Magna RNA Isolation Kit is priced Rs 150 per kit. Presently imported kits costs Rs 300 per kit.

Agappe Diagnostics would be manufacturing three lakh kits per month.

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