New Delhi | Jagran Lifestyle Desk: Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO)'s lab Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) in association with Delhi-based firm Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd has developed DIPCOVAN, COVID-19 antibody detection kit.

The antibody detection kit has been designed to recognise the qualitative identification of IgG antibodies in human plasma in order to target COVID-19 related antigens. 

The kit has been approved in April 2021 by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). And as per DRDO's statement, DIPCOVAN is faster in giving you the result as it just takes 75 minutes to conduct a test. It comes with a shelf life of as many as 18 months. 

The official statement released by DRDO says, "Readily available stock at the time of launch will be 100 kits (approx 10,000 tests) with a production capacity of 500 kits/month after the launch. It is expected to be available at about Rs 75 per test. The kit will be very useful for understanding Covid-19 epidemiology and assessing an individual’s previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure."

The statement further added that Defence Minister Rajnath Singh praised DRDO's efforts of designing the kit in this need of the hour. This kit, DIPCOVAN will be available in market from June first week.

What is DIPCOVAN and how does it work?

As mentioned above, DIPCOVAN is a COVID-19 antibody detection kit that can help you know whether you have been exposed to the deadly coronavirus till now or not. It can also tell you if you have formed antibodies. DIPCOVAN kit is a DIPAS-VDx COVID-19 IgG antibody microwell ELISA that can recognize COVID-19 virus's spike and nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins. The detection happens with a high sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 99%.

Is this kit used only to detect antibodies?

Although the prime purpose of this DIPCOVAN kit is to detect antibodies, however, it will also be used in COVID-19 epidemiology studies such as sero-surveys.

Availability and cost

According to DRDO's official statement, the DIPCOVAN kit will be available in markets from the first week of June and each kit will be of Rs 75. Although it is still unclear whether chemists will have it or only the labs will be having access to it. 

Posted By: Sanyukta Baijal