IISc start-up Equine Biotech develops affordable RT-PCR kit

Bengaluru, Sep 26 : A start-up incubated at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Equine Biotech, has developed an indigenous RT-PCR diagnostic kit for accurate and affordable diagnosis of Covid-19.

“The biggest advantage of Equine Biotech’s ‘Global TM diagnostic kit’ is that it takes just around one-and-half hours to confirm the presence of SARS-CoV-2 in samples,” an IISc release said.

Equine Biotech founder and Department of Biochemistry Professor Opal Taut said that the test kit based on Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR) is considered the gold standard for Covid-19 diagnosis.

He said the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had approved that for use in authorised diagnostic labs.

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According to him, ramping up testing in the country was crucial for tracking and controlling the spread of this infectious disease.

“India has the second highest reported cases in the world, with more than five million cases. Therefore, India needs home-grown diagnostics kits that can easily be mass produced and made accessible to a larger population. But so far, only a few Indian companies have developed reliable and accurate RT-PCR kits; most kits used widely are imported and therefore expensive,” he said.

He said that the kit was an easy-to-use, multiplex RT-PCR kit with 100% specificity. “Its run time is relatively short compared with kits available elsewhere.”

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The professor claimed that the company was currently seeking to license its test kit and work with med-tech companies and other industries for its mass production, marketing and distribution.

Equine Biotech has 30 years of experience in working on infectious diseases, including zoometric diseases.

It has previously developed diagnostic tests for screening livestock, especially cattle and horses, for blood parasitic diseases such as trypanosomiasis, trichomoniasis, theileriosis and babesiosis.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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