Chennai-based KRIYA Medical Technologies, in collaboration with ImmuGenix Bioscience, has announced an RT-PCR test that can detect infection and also determine the precise identity of the variant within 45 minutes. The Test Kit has met the approval of the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).
This is a significant development since most RT-PCR tests – with the notable exception of OmiSure – can only detect presence of infection, and not the nature of the COVID-19 variant strain. For the latter, a Genome Sequencing is required.
KRIYA’s breakthrough - named KRIVIDA Novus RT-PCR Kit - bridges that gap. The Kit can differentiate the Omicron variant from Delta and other variants like Alpha, Beta, Gamm, Lambda, and Mu. In fact, it can detect variants much faster than conventional genome sequencing tests which take anywhere between 4 and 7 days, according to Dr Naveen Kumar Venkatesan, who is the Chief Scientist and Founder of ImmuGenix Biosciences, and also the principal inventor of the Kit.
The Kit, which is slated to be commercially available across India soon, should go a long way in easing the travel sector as it is particularly efficient for entry point screening of travellers at airports. It will also democratize testing and make it more accessible and affordable.
In an exclusive interaction to the media, Anu Moturi, CEO, KRIYA said: “It took us about 45 days to make the kit happen. It is a single test that catches all variants and differentiates them quickly. That is a huge breakthrough. KRIVIDA Novus is a 5 gene kit. In fact, KRIVIDA Novus is the only kit that can detect the sub lineages of the Omicron variant.’’
For now, the KRIVIDA Novus will be manufactured at KRIYA’s state-of-the-art facility at Oragadam in Chennai, where the company has a manufacturing capacity of 5 million. Going forward, the plan is to ramp volumes up to an additional 5-10 million, based on demand.
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