Odisha: The COVID-19 fast antigen test kit developed by a private company in Odisha has been approved by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). IMGENEX India Pvt Ltd, Bhubaneswar, developed the kit with intellectual support from the Regional Medical Research Centre (RMRC). Using nasopharyngeal swab samples, the kit can detect multiple COVID-19 variations.
Dr. Sanghamitra Pati, director of the RMRC, said: "The kit was developed by IMGENEX India Pvt Ltd in Bhubaneswar, with RMRC Bhubaneswar providing intellectual assistance for in-house testing and validation. We then submitted the plan to the appropriate authorities for approval." She claims that the ImCOV-Ag kit has a high sensitivity and specificity, and that it can detect all COVID-19 variants.
The test kits were authorised by the ICMR based on the RMRC's internal validation and a third-party report on efficacy and accuracy (from a Kerala-based expert group).
Dr. Sujay Singh, CEO of IMGENEX, said that work on the kit began in June 2021 and that the ICMR authorised it on Thursday after following certain procedures. He says that with current facilities, the company can produce 2 lakh kits per month, with the capacity to increase to 20 lakh kits per month. The equipment is expected to be ready in two months.
Because it is the first of its kind in eastern India, states in the region will have easy access to it. According to Singh, the kit's retail pricing will be lower than similar products now on the market.