Hyderabad: Centre for Scientific and Industrial Research-India Institute of Chemical Technology (CSIR-IICT) on Saturday announced that it has developed indigenous RT-PCR kits for COVID-19 testing in partnership with Genomix Biotech
CSIR-IICT developed an affordable reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) kit indigenously using recombinant technology for the production of several enzymes used in the kit and optimized the reagent conditions to match the regulatory requirements.
Genomix Biotech will optimize the kit for COVID-19 diagnosis by adding the Taqman probes. CSIR-IICT and Genomix Biotech plan to approach Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) or its recognized laboratory for validation to launch the product in a couple of weeks.
Hyderabad-based IICT said that this collaboration will enable the production of affordable quality RT-PCR kit and help meet the huge demand of the country during this COVID-19 pandemic.
The availability of RT-PCR kits in the market has serious limitations as most of them are currently imported.
Further, the RT-PCR kit developed by CSIR-IICT can also be used in various other disease diagnostics of humans, animals and plants.
This technology is also expected to bring down the overall cost of RT-PCR based diagnosis in the country.
Earlier the Union Health Ministry had informed that Indian scientists and researchers are working on vaccine development and that by next month, 10 lakh indigenously developed RT-PCR kits would be manufactured.
Lav Agarwal, Joint Secretary Health Ministry, informed that the government is working with global partners on the vaccine development front and introducing it for the general public. Although it is a time-consuming process, "we are accelerating the processes involved."
He said the RT-PCR kit manufacturing work is in progress. By May, we can produce around 10 lakh kits. "We are also working on manufacturing 10 lakh rapid antibody detection kits", he said. The real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (real-time RT-PCR) test is considered one of the most accurate lab methods to detect, track and study coronavirus.
The Health Ministry official said that top government organizations – the Council for Scientific and Industrial Search, Department of Biotechnology and Science and Technology, and Department of Atomic Energy -- have also contributed in the fight against coronavirus by providing 30 labs to enhance the overall testing for the viral infection.
The ministry said it has prioritized the indigenous manufacturing of new rapid and accurate diagnostic kits, which can provide results in 30 minutes.