DRDO develops Covid-19 antibody detection kit

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New Delhi, May 21:The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO)’s laboratory Defense Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) has developed the ‘DipCovan’ kit to detect antibodies for sero-surveillance.

However, this kit can detect both SARS-CoV-2, responsible virus for Covid-19 as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins with 97 percent high sensitivity and 99 percent characterization. The kit will be launched for sale in the market in the first week of June 2021. The DipCovan kit will be available for a one-time check of Rs 75.

According to DRDO, the DipCovan kit is completely indigenous as it has been developed by the country’s own scientists. This kit has been tested on more than a thousand patients in several hospitals in Delhi. The verification work on three batches of the product has been done during the last one year. ]

“This kit was approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in April, 2021. It is also approved to manufacture this DipCovan kit for sale and distribution in May, 2021 by The Drug Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) and Ministry of Health and Family Welfare,” said the Spokesperson.

“The aim of DipaCovan is to detect qualitatively IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma that target the antigen related to SARS-CoV-2. This provides a significantly faster turn-around-time as it requires only 75 minutes performing the test without any cross reactivity with other diseases,” he added.

He said further that the shelf life of the kit is 18 months. Industry partner Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd will launch the kit for sale in the market in the first week of June, 2021. This kit will then be readily available in the market. About 10 thousand tests can be done from 100 kits. 500 kits will be produced per month after launch.

The DRDO has expressed hope that the DipCovan kit will be available for 75 rupees at a time for investigation. This kit will be very useful in understanding Kovid-19 epidemiology and evaluation of exposure to SARS COV-2 in person.

The efforts have been praised. Dr G. Satish Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defense Research and Development and Chairman of DRDO, also praised the team involved in developing the kit and said that this step will help people during the epidemic.