BHUBANESWAR: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has validated the COVID-19 rapid antigen test kit developed by a private company in Odisha. The kit has been developed by IMGENEX India Pvt Ltd, Bhubaneswar with intellectual input from Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC).
The kit can detect various variants of COVID-19 by using nasopharyngeal swab samples.
RMRC director Dr Sanghamitra Pati said: "The IMGENEX India Pvt Ltd, Bhubaneswar first started developing the kit and RMRC Bhubaneswar provided intellectual support for in-house testing and validation. Subsequently, we submitted the proposal for approval."
She said the kit ImCOV-Ag has very high sensitivity and specificity and can detect all variants of COVID-19. The ICMR has approved the test kits based on the RMRC's internal validation and a third party's (an expert group from Kerala) report on efficacy and accuracy.
IMGENEX CEO Dr Sujay Singh said they started work on the kit in June 2021 and ICMR has approved it on Thursday following certain procedures. He said with existing facilities, the firm can manufacture 2 lakh kits which can be ramped up to 20 lakh kits per month.
Singh said that the kit is likely to be available in the market in two months. Since it is the first such kit in eastern India, the states in this region can easily avail the facility. Singh said the market price of the kit will be lower than others now available in the market.
The ICMR, has so far validated as many as 150 Antigen based Rapid Test Kits (including 31 revalidations), sources in the health department said.