Indian Institute of Technology Delhi has developed its own low-cost coronavirus testing kit. The test, Corosure, has been touted as the most affordable probe-free RT-PCR diagnostic kit available. Union Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and HRD Minister of State Sanjay Dhotre took to Twitter to launch the affordable testing kit.
The kit has been launched by Newtech Medical under the name 'Corosure'. Newtech will produce the affordable coronavirus testing kit. The kit is cheaper than the usual RT-PCR kits because it does not require the 'probe' components that are imported.
The test results would be available in three hours and the sensitivity of the tests are comparable to kits that are currently available.
"This IIT Delhi technology should change the paradigm of COVID testing in the country, both in terms of scale and cost.This product, approved by ICMR and DCGI, is being launched tomorrow. 2 million tests at an unbeatable price," said IIT Delhi Director Ramgopal Rao on Tuesday.
The COROSURE Launch event, which will start at 11.00 a.m., will be webcast through YouTube and the link for the same is given below:— V.Ramgopal Rao (@ramgopal_rao) July 15, 2020
YouTube Link: https://t.co/yr9m0J4OaJ@iitdelhi@DrRPNishank@kvijayraghavan@NITIAayog@drharshvardhan@ICMRDELHI@ProfBhargavapic.twitter.com/XVgvTYOTpV
The technology was developed by researchers from IIT Delhi's Kusuma School of Biological Sciences. The probe-free method method reduces the testing cost without compromising on the accuracy of the tests. The researchers identified unique regions (short stretches of RNA sequences) in the COVID-19 and SARS COV-2 genome.
"These unique regions are not present in other human coronaviruses providing an opportunity to specifically detect COVID-19. Primer sets, targeting unique regions in the spike protein of COVID-19, were designed and tested using real-time polymerase chain reaction. The primers designed by the group specifically bind to regions conserved in over 200 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes. The sensitivity of this in-house assay is comparable to that of commercially available kits," said Professor Vivekanandan Perumal, lead member of the team.