Kochi: With India making all out efforts to prevent community
transmission of deadly novel coronavirus, its home-grown companies have joined in
the efforts by promising to make available “cheaper, faster” COVID-19 testing
kits in massive numbers.
Ahmedabad-based CoSara Diagnostics Pvt Ltd became the first
Indian company to receive license to manufacture coronavirus test kits from the
Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) while many more are in
line to get the nod.
“We’ve received the CDSCO nod and begin the manufacturing
soon. We’ve already ordered raw materials from our partner in the US, Co-Diagnostics
Inc,” said CEO Mohal Kartikeya Sarabhai. The company claimed its reagent kits
can give test results in three hours as against the average five hours taken by
imported test kits.
The increase in COVID-19 cases has given rise to panic and
the diagnostic test kits and testing facilities are in urgent demand. The World
Health Organisation has advised testing as many suspected cases of the COVID-19
Chennai-based ‘Trivitron Healthcare’ is also in the process
of developing diagnostic test kits and hopes to make the product available in
another three weeks.
Currently India imports diagnostic
testing kits from Germany and Switzerland, while the testing is handled by 52
Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) laboratories across the country.
India has approved only rapid RT PCR kits for accurate and confirmatory
Dr GSK Velu, Chairman and Managing
Director, Trivitron, said they are waiting for approval of the National
Institute of Virology for validation protocols and positive samples.
“The kits by our JV company in China, Labsystems Diagnostics Shandong, are approved and sold there. We’re planning to use that expertise and components to make them in India. The costs are still being worked out. We have allocated Rs 4 to 5 crore emergency funds to upgrade our R&D infrastructure for launching hand sanitizers and COVID-19 kits,” Velu said.