IIT Delhi launches Covid anti-gen kit with 98% accuracy
New Delhi, June 25: Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, on Friday announced launch of new Covid-19 Agi Testing Kit developed by in-house researchers at the premiere institute. The announcement was made by IIT Delhi Director Professor V Ramgopal Rao and Sanjay Dhotre, Union Minister of State for Education, stating that the rapid anti-gen kit for early detection of SARS-CoV-2 has received Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and Drugs Controller General of India (DGCI) clearances.
The researchers claim that the anti-gen kit has the accuracy of 98.99 per cent and is found to be suitable for early CT values between 14 to 32. The anti-gen kit offers qualitative determination of SARS-CoV-2 antigen in human via nasal swabs, throat swabs and deep sputum samples.
Speaking at the launch, Prof Rao said, "We are hoping that this technology can help rural areas and by rapid testing we should be able to prevent any further waves and the country could benefit from it."
The technology has been licensed to two companies including Dia Sure Immunodiagnostic which will be launching the product in the market at a nominal cost of Rs 50.
According to the Director, IIT Delhi in July 2020 had launched an RT PCR kit at the cost of Rs 399 and through the technologies developed in the institute, over 8 million PPE kits have been supplied in the country so far.
Dr Harpal Singh, professor for Biomedical Engineering and principal investigator of the innovation at the institute, said that while RT-PCR test may take a longer period to give results, the rapid anti-gen test will take lesser time to detect the virus and can be used at the room temperature of 37 to 38 degrees which can be the ideal condition in the rural areas. It also has hybrid antibody system which can detect the variant of the Covid-19 virus in a person.
Speaking with Bizz Buzz, Dr Dinesh Kumar, co-researcher of the anti-gen kit, said that the technology was developed by the team in May-June 2020 and within six month it was sent to ICMR for testing and patenting.
"We started working on the kit since last year May-June and the ICMR tested with around 300 people before giving its approval. As compared to an RT-PCR test, our anti-gen test gives Covid-19 result within five minutes," Dr Dinesh Kumar told Bizz Buzz.
Speaking at the inaugural, Union Minister Sanjay Dhotre said, "I am confident that this technology will revolutionize the Covid test availability in the country. I am glad to know that the kit has been developed entirely using the internal resources at IIT Delhi."