Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS), the research laboratory of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has developed an antibody detection-based kit called 'DIPCOVAN'. The kit will help people detect if they have previously been exposed to the COVID-19 virus and if their bodies had produced antibodies to combat it.
This kit has been developed for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma, targeting the antigens related to COVID-19 causing SARS-CoV-2 virus.
DIPCOVAN has been developed by DRDO scientists in collaboration with Delhi-based Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd. The Delhi-based firm will initiate the commercial sale of DIPCOVAN in the first week of June.
DIPCOVAN has a faster turn-around time as it requires only 75 minutes to conduct the necessary test without any cross-reactivity with other diseases, explained an official DRDO statement. The antibody detection-based kit has a shelf life of 18 months. Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) had given its approval to the kit in April 2021. The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) gave regulatory approval to manufacture and sell DIPCOVAN in May 2021.
"Readily available stock at the time of launch will be 100 kits (approx 10,000 tests) with a production capacity of 500 kits per month after the launch. It is expected to be available at about Rs 75 per test. The kit will be very useful for understanding COVID-19 epidemiology and assessing an individual's previous SARS-CoV-2 exposure," the DRDO noted in a statement. Defense Minister Rajnath Singh has appreciated the efforts of DRDO and the industry for coming up with the kit at such a crucial point in time.
When will DIPCOVAN be used?
The antibody detection-based kit will be used to conduct studies such as serosurveys. Individuals can use the kit to detect if their bodies had developed antibodies to fight the COVID-19 virus.
How much will a DIPCOVAN unit cost?
Vanguard Diagnostics intends to sell the kit for Rs 75 per test, as per a DRDO statement.
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