NEW DELHI :
Syngene International Ltd has developed its own ELISA antibody testing kits at its research facility in Bengaluru and has tied up with bioscience firm HiMedia Laboratories for manufacturing and distribution of the testing kits.
Biocon Ltd’s contract research arm has developed the testing kit, which it claims has a capacity to test multiple samples together in a single run and generates results within 3 hours. However, the firm did not give details on how many samples it can test simultaneously.
The test kit, to be launched under the brand name ‘ELISafe 19’, will be manufactured by HiMedia at its facility in Mumbai and be distributed across India, Syngene said in a release.
However, any testing kit has to be first validated by Indian Council of Medical Research’s National Institute of Virology in Pune before they are mass produced and commercialised, and Syngene’s test kit has to start the process.
“We will be sending the testing kits for validation soon. The process will start now," a spokesperson for HiMedia told Mint.
ELISA, an acronym for enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, is a test which measures IgG antibodies present in the blood against the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. ELISA test kits have routinely been used to detect HIV infection in patients.
While RT-PCR tests diagnose covid-19, antibody tests are crucial to understand the proportion of population exposed to the infection, and are used for surveillance purposes.
The development comes a few days after the ICMR advised states to conduct a survey of exposure of their population to the novel Coronavirus, officially called SARS-COV2, using the ELISA antibody test.
India’s apex biomedical research body has listed an indicative list of different groups has been provided for adequate representation in the survey, which includes immuno-compromised patients, healthcare workers, security personnel, journalists, among others.
“At a time when the number of COVID-19 cases is increasing at an alarming rate across the country, there is an urgent need to make available reliable testing kits using advanced technology to test patients and identify positive cases. To fill this gap, Syngene, with its expertise across diverse scientific domains, has developed an ELISA kit that allows higher throughput and generates faster results," Syngene International chief operating officer Mahesh Bhalgat said in a release.