Zydus Cadila supplies first batch of Covid Kavach ELISA to ICMR

Our Bureau | Updated on May 21, 2020

First batch of 30,000 antibody detection tests supplied to ICMR

Healthcare major Zydus Cadila (Cadila Healthcare Ltd) on Thursday supplied the first batch of 30,000 Covid Kavach ELISA tests to Indian Council of Medical Research.

The kit will be used for antibody detection of Covid-19, a disease caused by the coronavirus infection.

Manufactured by Cadila Healthcare’s arm, Zydus Diagnostics, the test kits have been manufactured in technology transfer with ICMR-NIV of Pune, for surveillance purposes. The kits have been supplied to ICMR free of cost, the company informed here.

Robust antibody tests are critical for surveillance and understanding the proportion of population exposed to SARS COV-2 infection.

Pankaj R Patel, Chairman, Cadila Healthcare, said, “We believe that the need of the hour is to be prepared in every way that we can with the latest diagnostic technologies and that is why we are providing the initial supplies at no cost.”

The test kits manufactured at Zydus Cadila were validated by NIV and were found to have high sensitivity and specificity. Named ‘Covid Kavach ELISA’, the test kits are manufactured at the company’s Moraiya facility near Ahmedabad in just four days of receiving all necessary materials from ICMR-NIV, Pune.

Earlier, Zydus Cadila had partnered with ICMR to be better equipped against infectious disease outbreaks and help people, who are at high risk, particularly in distant, remote areas of the country.

ICMR-NIV, Pune, has successfully developed an indigenous IgG ELISA test for antibody detection for Covid-19.

The test was validated at two sites in Mumbai and has been found to have high sensitivity and specificity.

In addition, the test will have the advantage of testing 90 samples together in a single run of 2.5 hours.

Moreover, ELISA-based testing can be easily conducted even at the district level.

After development at ICMR-NIV, Pune, the technology was commercialised by Zydus Cadila for mass production.

India had a bad experience in the rapid anti-body test kits that were imported from China which were found to have accuracy rate of only between 6 per cent and 30 per cent, and the tests showing false positive and false negative results with multiple instances of failure of tests.

Zydus Cadila has been manufacturing and marketing a range of ELISA kits for detection and surveillance of rare and neglected diseases in humans and livestock.

Zydus Diagnostics has manufactured kits for Chandipura Virus (ELISA), Kyasanur Forest Disease Virus KFDV (ELISA), Hepatitis E Virus (ELISA), Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever (IgM and IgG tests) and Measles (IgM) for human testing and Crimean Congo Haemorrhagic fever (ELISA kits for sheep, goat and cattle) and Japanese Encephalitis.

Shares of Cadila Healthcare gained over 2 per cent to trade at ₹345.30 on BSE on Thursday.

Published on May 21, 2020

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