Mumbai: In what could be a game-changer for India in the fight against the novel coronavirus, Pune-based Mylabs Discovery Solutions on Tuesday received the go-ahead from the authorities to manufacture its low-cost testing kits.
The start-up can manufacture over 15,000 kits per day at its facility in Lonavla, and will ramp up to 25,000 subsequently, according to a report by PTI.
India currently has around 1.5 lakh testing kits, most of which are imported. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stressed on tests as one of the best ways to fight this virus.
Experts fear that the number of positive cases could be substantially more as testing is currently restricted.
MyLabs says its test time is just 2.5 hours as compared to the current 6-8 hours.
The company says that its team of 25 scientists started the work on this project six weeks back.
Co-founder Shrikant Patole reportedly said that the test will pick up positive cases among asymptomatic patients as well. They got approvals from the National Institute of Virology, Indian Council of Medical Research and Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) after a test sampling on patients at Mumbai’s Kasturba Hospital.
Another German company has been selected for the tests at NIV.
Currently, the kits prepared by the National Institute of Virology (NIV) cost up to Rs 4,500. A single MyLabs kit which can test 100 patients costs Rs 80,000, effectively bringing the cost down to Rs 800 per test.
These kits can work with Indian diagnostic labs without any new machinery, Patole said.
The company’s four co-founders and investors have invested over Rs 25 crore and are looking for more investors now.