Covid-19: DRDO Develops Antibody Detection Kit DIPCOVAN, Each Test to Cost About Rs 75

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As India continues to battle a second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, a laboratory of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed an antibody detection-based kit named DIPCOVAN that can detect coronavirus spike as well as the nucleocapsid proteins of the virus.

The kit, approved by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in April, has been developed indigenously by scientists of the Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) in association with a diagnostic company in Delhi. It has been extensively validated on over 1,000 samples of patients at various Covid-designated hospitals across the national capital.

“The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97 per cent and specificity of 99 per cent,” a statement by the DRDO said.

Three batches of the product were validated during the past year. In May, the product received the regulatory approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to manufacture for sale and distribution, the DRDO further said.

The kit offers a significantly faster turn-around-time as it requires just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross reactivity with other diseases. It has a shelf life of 18 months.

The product will be commercially launched during the first week of June and around 100 kits, with 100 tests each, will be readily available in the market after the launch. The market price of the product is estimated to be approximately Rs 75 per test.

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