New Delhi | Jagran News Desk: Facilitating the coronavirus testing in India, Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Wednesday launched a test kit named "Corosure", which is being touted as the world’s most affordable RT-PCR based COVID-19 diagnostic kit.

At the launch event of the kit, Pokhriyal said the innovation is a step towards "Make in India" adding that the country requires cheap and reliable testing for the country which can help to control the pandemic. The kit will now be available for use at authorised testing labs.

In its yet another successful innovation during the on-going pandemic, the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has developed a low-cost test kit, which received approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) with the highest score and Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) with very high sensitivity and specificity.

 

"The Corosure Kit has been developed indigenously and is much cheaper than other kits. The country requires cheap and reliable testing for the country which can help control the pandemic. The kit has received ICMR approval with the highest score and DCGI approved with very high sensitivity and specificity," the HRD minister said at the launch.

According to the IIT officials, the RT-PCR assay is priced at Rs 399 and even after adding the RNA isolation and laboratory charges, the cost will go up to Rs 650 per test and will be considerably cheaper compared to currently available kits in the market. It can deliver test results within just three hours.

 

With this significant development, the IIT Delhi has become the first academic institute to get ICMR nod for a Covid-19 testing method and has provided a non-exclusive open license to 10 companies to manufacture COVID-19 diagnostic kit using the technology developed by its researchers. The kit has been commercialised by Newtech Medical Devices.

According to the developers of this kit at IIT, the testing method developed by the team is a "probe-free" method, which reduces the testing cost without compromising on accuracy while the current testing methods are "probe-based".

The IIT Delhi team identified unique regions (short stretches of RNA sequences) in the COVID-19 and SARS COV-2 genome using comparative sequence analyses.

Professor Vivekanandan Perumal, lead member of the team, while talking about the analyses, said,” These unique regions are not present in other human coronaviruses providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19.”

"Primer sets, targeting unique regions in the spike protein of coronavirus, were designed and tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The primers designed by the group specifically bind to regions conserved in over 200 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes. The sensitivity of this in-house assay is comparable to that of commercially available kits," the professor added.


Lauding the work done by the IIT researchers and developers of this kit, The HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal appreciated Prof. Vivekanandan Perumal and his research team at the launch.

Posted By: Simran Babbar