GUWAHATI: The Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati and RR Animal Healthcare Ltd have been successful in jointly developing and delivering large quantities of affordable COVID-19 related diagnostic kits.
With this initiative, IIT Guwahati has become the first institute in the country to demonstrate an efficient model to develop import-substitute COVID-19 kits from lab-scale to prototype level, field/hospital testing and commercialising thereby saving valuable foreign exchange for the country, timely delivery and customising as per the needs of the user.
These kits, being developed presently at the Center of Nanotechnology, IIT Guwahati, are now supplied regularly in large quantities to the National Health Mission, Assam and several hospitals across the country.
The IIT Guwahati authority said, “The National Health Mission, Assam had approached Prof. T. G. Sitharam, Director, IIT Guwahati, with a request to develop Viral Transport Media (VTM) kits, RNA extraction kits and RT-PCR kits and help the state government in their efforts to overcome this shortage. IIT Guwahati immediately took up this challenge and strategised to develop these kits in-house to meet the growing requirement of these kits during this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”
Prof Sitharam said, “IIT Guwahati is at the forefront in the fight against COVID-19 and the Institute has remained fully committed to work with the state government during this difficult situation. The development of high-quality and affordable VTM and other COVID-19 related kits at the Institute was taken upon receiving a request from NHM, Assam and these kits have now been validated by GMCH as well as approved by ICMR”.
According to the IIT Guwahati, more than 2.5 lakhs VTM kits developed at IIT Guwahati have already been supplied to NHM, Assam.
“Several testing laboratories across the country have also started procuring these import substitute kits due to their high quality, affordable price and timely delivery schedules. The performance of the indigenously developed RNA extraction kits have also been highly satisfactory as per the Guwahati Medical College and Hospital (GMCH) and the Institute has started supplying these RNA extraction kits in large quantities to the state government,” the IIT Guwahati added.