ICMR approves Molbio Diagnostics’ testing kit for COVID-19

MOLBIO Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, supported by India Health Fund, through the Centre for Health Research and Innovations (CHRI), has recently obtained approval from Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for its testing kit — the Truenat Beta CoV test — to be used by patients to test for COVID-19.

This kit will be used as a screening test for COVID-19, with test results available within an hour. This will enable same-day testing, reporting, and initiation of patient isolation if required – thereby reducing the risk of infection spreading while waiting for results. The cost of each test is under INR 1350. Truenat Beta CoV test is the second made-in-India diagnostic solution that has been approved for use by ICMR in a short span of time.

Support from India Health Fund, since 2019, has enabled Molbio Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd and CHRI to demonstrate the effectiveness of Truelab in diagnosing TB and Rifampicin resistance at the district hospitals and community health centres in Uttar Pradesh, where it has been initially deployed.

This platform has the potential to perform molecular diagnostics for infectious diseases at the point-of-care through its Truelab Real-Time Quantitative micro PCR System.  The ability to screen for COVID-19 is an additional feature added to the Truelab Real-Time Quantitative micro PCR System developed by Molbio Diagnostics.

India Health Fund is an organisation seeded by Tata Trusts to identify and support breakthrough innovations that will help accelerate the elimination of infectious diseases in India. It has so far focused on supporting innovations that leverage technology, artificial intelligence, molecular diagnostics, and product design to improve the diagnosis, treatment & prevention of TB and malaria-like Truelab from Molbio Diagnostics. India Health Fund has now extended its focus to making identification & support for disruptive innovations for the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and monitoring of coronavirus a priority area. India Health Fund partners with Central TB Division, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India and has a strategic partnership with The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria.

The support for Molbio Diagnostics, and the rapid approval of the Truenat Beta CoV test, is a strong example of the commitment of the India Health Fund to continue to support breakthrough innovations to aid the fight against infectious diseases.

Dr Chandrashekhar Nair, Chief Technical Officer at Molbio Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd, pointed out, “The need of the hour is to augment access to molecular diagnostics in a fast-track mode with required financial support which will help in better preparedness to tackle in controlling pandemics like COVID-19 and outbreaks in future”.

On this World Health Day, April 7, 2020, India Health Fund is announcing a Call for Disruptive Innovations focused on TB, other respiratory and airborne infections in India. This call aims to accelerate novel approaches and platform solutions that can be validated, adapted and scaled up rapidly to fight infectious diseases.

“India Health Fund’s Quest for Innovations 2020 is an opportunity for all entrepreneurs, innovators, and scientists to come forward with their ideas and solutions, and partner with India Health Fund to accelerate the development and deployment of their tools and technologies”, said Madhav Joshi, Chief Executive Officer, India Health Fund.

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