BHUBANESWAR: The Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) has approved ImCOV-Ag, a Covid-19 rapid antigen test (RAT) kit developed in Odisha. The high sensitivity kit that can detect infection of all variants of the novel coronavirus will be available in the market in one to two months.
Developed by Imgenex India Pvt Ltd in collaboration with the ICMR-Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC), Bhubaneswar, the kit is the first to be developed in the eastern zone of the country. Director RMRC Dr Sanghamitra Pati said based on the internal validation here, Imgenex submitted the report to ICMR central office in November, 2021. The ICMR validated the kit through a third party and gave approval for its use at laboratory testing facilities on January 27.
Imgenex India CEO Sujay Singh said the RAT kit that involves nasopharyngeal swab can produce results in 5 to 15 minutes. More than `1 crore has been invested so far for development of the kit, he said. “The kit will be available in the market within a month or two. We are also setting up a laboratory for its manufacturing in Odisha which will be made operational by April,” Singh said.
The price of the kit will be cheaper than other antigen testing kits and would be available in the State easily for people including those who place a bulk order, he said.The Imgenex India CEO also said that they are continuing research to bring some modifications to the kit for self-testing. “We will soon apply for ICMR approval for use of the kit for home testing,” he said.