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DST supported startup develops affordable test kits for early diagnosis of Covid-19 in rural & resource constraint areas

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Ahmedabad

A Mumbai-based startup is ready with its affordable Rapid Antigen Test that offers COVID 19 diagnosis & surveillance at the cost of Rs 100 per test.

The test developed by Patanjali Pharma will complement the gold standard RTPCR & Rapid antigen tests and make it one of the most affordable ones available in the market.

The Centre for Augmenting WAR with COVID-19 Health Crisis (CAWACH), an initiative by the Department of Science and Technology (DST), supported the startup in July, 2020 to develop Rapid Covid 19 diagnostics (both Rapid antibody and antigen tests for surveillance and early diagnosis of Covid- 19, respectively).

Dr. Vinay Saini, Director, Patanjali Pharma, incubated the Startup in SINE, IIT Bombay, and developed the R & D lab as well as products within 8-9 months. They applied for the required licenses and evaluated and validated the products at different Covid Centres for knowing and further improving their efficacy.

“It was an amazing experience to do internal validation of our products in Covid 19 patients and Viral Transport Medium (VTM) samples containing nasopharyngeal swabs of Covid patients. I accompanied my team members for multiple evaluations of developed products at different covid sites in Mumbai to boost up their confidence,” Dr. Vinay Saini said, speaking about the journey of development of the product.

The startup plans to launch the rapid Covid-19 antigen tests in early June, 2021. The Rapid covid-19 tests (~10-15 minutes) would be helpful for early diagnosis of Covid-19 in rural areas, doctor’s clinics, and resource constraint areas where pathology and diagnostic labs are not available. The test is affordable and would be helpful to control the pandemic.

Presently, they are working on Rapid Covid-19 antibody tests, Rapid TB Tests with DST SEED Grant & BRICS Countries, CRISPR based Covid 19 tests through Covid 19 Ignition Grant- Indo US Project under IUSSTF with University of Florida, USA).

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