IIT Delhi Launches “Corosure”, a Low-Cost Test Kit for COVID 19

Published: July 15, 2020

The Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi has developed the most affordable test kit for COVID 19, named as “Corosure”, to provide low-cost testing facility to all the people in the country. The Union Human Resource Development Minister launched the test kit in New Delhi.

The test kit will be priced at the base price of Rs 399 and after addition of RNA isolation and laboratory charges; the total cost is expected to be Rs 650. However, that is also quite cheap as compared to the existing test kits in the country. This kit has been developed indigenously contributing to its low cost. It has received the approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research with the highest score and the DCGI has also approved it with very high sensitivity and specificity.

IIT Delhi has thus become the first-ever academic institute in the country to get ICMR approval for COVID 19 testing and it granted a non-exclusive license to 10 companies for commercializing the test, but with a price rider of Rs 500 for the assay required for testing. The kit has been commercialized by Newtech Medical Devices.

Why is the test kit so cheap?

The team at IIT Delhi has clarified that the current testing methods available are “probe-based” whereas “Corosure” is a “probe-free” method and that has contributed to the low cost of this technology, but without compromising at all on the accuracy of the test results. The team has used the comparative sequence analyses to identify unique regions of short stretches of RNA sequences in the COVID 19 and SARS COV – 2 genome. These unique regions are not there in other human coronaviruses and that is how COVID 19 can be effectively determined in this test.

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