A lab of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), on Friday, announced it had developed a Covid-19 antibody detection-based kit called DIPCOVAN. The kit can be used as a sero-surveillance to detect the presence of Covid-19 antibodies among the population.
The DRDO said the kit could detect surge and nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97% & specificity of 99%.
The kit will also help estimate the epidemiology of Covid-19 and assess a person’s previous exposure to the infection.
DIPCOVAN was developed primitively by DRDO scientists and has been tested on about 1,000 patient samples at many Covid-19 hospitals in Delhi.
DRDO stated that three batches of the product had already been verified last year. The kit gives a faster turn-around time as results can be procured in just 75 minutes. The kit has a life span of 18 months.
Last month, the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) authorized the antibody detection kit. This month, the product has received confirmation from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to manufacture for sale and distribution.
The product has been developed in collaboration with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a Delhi-based development and manufacturing diagnostics company.
During the launch, a stock of 100 kits will be readily available, which would contain around 10,000 tests, with a production competency of 500/kits per month after the launch. The kit would be available at INR 75 per test.
Sero surveillance is conducted to confirm the spread of Covid-19 in an area.
DRDO has recently launched the 2-DG drug, which the DCGI authorised for emergency use to treat moderate to severe Covid-19 patients.
The drug can be used upon prescription from moderate to hospitalised Covid-19 patients. The 2-DG drug was developed by DRDO’s Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences (INMAS) in association with Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories (DRL), giant Hyderabad-based pharmaceuticals.