Hyderabad firm’s COVID-19 test kit gives result in 2 hours

Hyderabad: A City-based life sciences company has developed a coronavirus test kit named Quantiplus COV that can give the result in two hours.

Huwel Lifesciences on Friday received approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for the test kit.

Its production would begin at the company’s Narsingi and Kokapet facilities on Monday, Huwel Lifesciences Director Shesheer Kumar told IANS on Saturday.

Quanitplus COVID-19 detection kit is based on a published protocol of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the national public health agency of the US.

“The kit has synthetic gene cloned in a plasmid as a positive control. The primers set is cross-verified for specificity with several RNA and DNA viruses and bacteria,” he said.

Designed to exclusively detect the COVID-19, it can also detect SARS-CoV and bat SARS related CoVs.

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According to Huwel Lifesciences, all high-quality reagents required for the test, including enzymes, are made in-house. The company calls it a one-stop solution for detection kit, extraction kit, molecular transport medium and swabs for sample collection.

He said all testing technologies for COVID-19 were based on three different reagents of virus updated by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the CDC. “Based on that you need to decide the technology. Too much experimentation can’t be done at this point because of non-availability of too much data on sequences,” he said.

The Only difference with other companies was Huwel Lifesciences makes its own enzymes. “We make everything except one component which is imported. It’s scaleable, quality can be controlled and consistency can be maintained,” he said.

A test using Quantiplus COV kit costs Rs 1,000 and the result will be available in two hours. “We have a single formulation where you don’t need to add separate components while setting up reactions. It’s easy to set up and also avoids contamination and reduces the time of reaction,” he said.

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The company, which initially plans to produce 1,000 kits a day, is hoping to bag orders from the Telangana government.

The company officials met Telangana Industry Minister K.T. Rama Rao and briefed him on the kit. “Their kits can give result in two hours and the mode of scalable. Look forward to work with them,” the Minister tweeted.

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