IIT Delhi launches the world's cheapest Covid-19 diagnostic kit
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NEW DELHI: In its latest innovation to help fight the Covid-19 pandemic, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi has developed the “world’s cheapest” Covid-19 diagnostic kit. The institute has licensed 10 companies to manufacture the diagnostic kits using the technology developed by its researchers.

The Corosure Kit developed by IIT-Delhi was launched on Wednesday by Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union Minister for Human Resources Development, “Nishank”. He said it was “a step towards Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision and admonitions to innovative youth to ensure a healthier and more independent India.”

The kit has been approved by both the ICMR and the DCGI.

Pokhriyal said this affordable detection kit will help the country in the ongoing crisis. This will also reduce the cost of Covid-19 RT-PCR tests, he added.

The base price for the RT-PCR assay is Rs 399. Even after adding RNA isolation and laboratory fees, the cost per test is significantly cheaper compared to kits currently on the market.

Corosure, the probe-free diagnostic kit, was manufactured by NCR-based Newtech Medical Devices.

IIT, Director of Delhi, V Ramgopal Rao, thanked the Indian government, the Ministry of Personnel Development, the Ministry of Health and the ICMR for their support. “Our researchers will continue to focus on research and development related to Covid-19 to help the country and the world fight the coronavirus,” he said.

In April 2020, the IIT in Delhi became the first academic institution to receive ICMR approval for a real-time PCR-based diagnostic assay. It was also the first probe-free test for Covid-19 that was approved by the ICMR. The assay was validated with a sensitivity and specificity of 100%.

“Unlike other kits, no fluorescent probe is used, which helps reduce costs and increase the scalability of assays,” said Vivekanandan Perumal, the lead researcher.

Minister of State for Personnel Development, Sanjay Dhotre, was also present at the launch.

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