MyLab Discovery Solutions' Covid-19 antigen testing kits get ICMR nod

Health workers conduct the Covid-19 rapid antigen testing at Bhim Nagar, in Gurugram
Molecular diagnostics company, Mylab Discovery Solutions, which launched the first indigenous RT-PCR testing kit, has got the nod to commercially make antigen testing kits for Covid-19. It will be the first Indian firm to get approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) that has developed the kit in India and will be making it here too.

MyLab’s kit named Pathocatch will be available for orders immediately and will be priced at Rs 450.

At present, Korean company SD Biosensor makes the antigen kits in use. It was the only firm approved by ICMR for these kits. It has a plant in Manesar.

Another company called Vishat Diagnostic — that supplies an antigen kit from Belgium’s Coris BioConcept — also got ICMR approval.

“The launch of the antigen testing kit is in line with the government’s expectation to increase rapid testing, which is the point-of-care method and complements the more rigorous RT-PCR test to detect coronavirus,” the company said.

As infections surge across the country, more states are allowing antigen-based rapid testing in India.

Hasmukh Rawal, managing director, Mylab Discovery Solutions, said, “With the approval for an antigen testing kit, we will cover whole spectrum of Covid-19 testing.”

India is using a combination of both antigen and RT-PCR testing as its testing strategy. This will save both time and cost, speeding up the process of testing and isolation.

How is an antigen test done?
  • Each kit has an inbuilt Covid antigen test device, Viral extraction tube and a sterile swab for sample collection
  • A Nasal swab is collected and immersed into viral extraction buffer.
  • The buffer inactivates the virus
  • Sample is then placed in a well of the test strip. Results in 15-20 mins
  • It is a point of care test as sample is stable for only one hour after collection
  • Antigen tests (SD Biosensor) have high specificity -99.3% but sensitivity ranges between 50.6% to 84%

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