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Startup incubated at IISc develops COVID-19 diagnostic kit, gets ICMR nod


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BENGALURU: Equine Biotech, a startup incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit called "Global diagnostic kit" for "accurate and affordable" diagnosis of COVID-19.

The test kit, based on Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), the gold standard for COVID-19 diagnosis, has been approved for use in authorised COVID-19 diagnostic labs by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), according Bengaluru-based IISc.

The test takes about one and half hours to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in patient samples, said Utpal Tatu, Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, IISc, and founder of Equine Biotech.

"Our startup has been working on testing for coronavirus infections for many years, even before the COVID-19 pandemic started. This experience has helped us engineer the kit for COVID-19," Tatu was quoted as saying in an IISc statement.

The kit is an easy-to-use, multiplex RT-PCR kit with 100 per cent specificity, and its run time is relatively short when compared with the kits available in the industry, according to the startup.

It is currently seeking to licence its new COVID-19 test kit and work with med-tech companies and other industries for mass producing, marketing and distribution of these kits.

(THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS)