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Home >Science >Health >DRDO develops Covid antibody detection kit: All you need to know

An antibody detection-based kit DIPCOVAN has been developed by a Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratory that can detect spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of coronavirus with a high sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 99%, DRDO said. The kit would be commercially launched in June and DRDO informed that each test would cost around 75.

The product has been developed in association with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a Delhi based development and manufacturing diagnostics company.

DRDO noted, "It was developed indigenously by scientists, followed by extensive validation on over 1000 patient samples at various COVID hospitals in Delhi."

The antibody detection kit was approved by ICMR in April 2021, while in May, it received the regulatory approval from the DCGI, CDSCO, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, for manufacturing the product.

In an official statement, the Ministry of Defence said, "Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), a laboratory of DRDO, has developed an antibody detection-based kit 'DIPCOVAN', the DIPAS-VDx COVID-19 IgG Antibody Microwell ELISA for sero-surveillance. The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97 per cent and specificity of 99 per cent."

"The DIPCOVAN kit was developed indigenously by the scientists, followed by extensive validation on more than 1,000 patient samples at various COVID designated hospitals in Delhi. Three batches of the product were validated during last one year," the statement said.

Here's what you need to know about this testing kit

  1. DIPCOVAN is intended for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma, targeting SARS-CoV-2 related antigens.
  2. It offers a significantly faster turn-around-time as it requires just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross reactivity with other diseases. The kit has a shelf life of 18 months.
  3. Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd will commercially launch the product during the first week of June 2021.
  4. At the time of launch, 100 kits (approx. 10,000 tests) will be available and after a month the production capacity would be increased to 500 kits/month. It is expected to be available at about 75 per test.
  5. The kit will be very useful for understanding COVID‐19 epidemiology and assessing an individual's previous SARS‐CoV‐2 exposure.

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated the efforts of DRDO and the industry in developing the kit at the time of need. Secretary Department of Defence R&D & Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy complimented the teams involved in developing the kit and said the initiative will help the people during the pandemic.

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