IIT Delhi’s Affordable COVID-19 Testing Method Gets ICMR Approval

New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) has approved an affordable COVID-19 testing method developed by the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi.

According to a press release from the institute, the testing method specifically detects unique regions that are found only in coronavirus-infected patients.

“This method uses primers targeting unique regions of COVID-19 that were designed and tested using real-time PCR. These primers specifically bind to regions conserved in over 400 fully sequenced COVID-19 genomes. This highly sensitive assay was developed by extensive optimisation using synthetic DNA constructs followed by in vitro generated RNA fragments,” it added.

Having become the first educational institute to get a nod from ICMR on the testing method, the team will soon collaborate with industrial partners to develop affordable testing kits.

“This is expected to bring down the cost of detection to below Rs 300 in the country,” IIT-Delhi director V Ramgopal was quoted by the Indian Express as saying.

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