Cipla launches rapid antigen test kits for detecting Covid-19
Pharmaceutical major Cipla Limited on Wednesday announced its partnership with the Premier Medical Corporation Private Limited for commercialisation of the rapid antigen test kits to detect Coronavirus disease (Covid-19) in India that will detect the viral disease in just about 15-20 minutes.
The company will start supplying the kits from this week, it said in a statement.
This is Cipla’s second launch in the diagnostics space after Elifast: SARS CoV-2 IgG ELISA Test Kit, which is a test kit to detect antibodies against the virus that causes Covid-19.
“In this collaboration, Cipla will be responsible for the marketing and distribution of the Rapid Antigen Detection Test for the qualitative detection of SARS-CoV-2 antigen that will be manufactured by Premier Medical Corporation Private Limited,” said the company in a statement issued on Wednesday.
The test is a rapid point-of-care nasopharyngeal swab test that directly detects the presence or absence of coronavirus antigen in the patient’s body, generating results within 15-20 minutes. Only authorised labs are permitted by ICMR to conduct the rapid antigen testing. The test will be marketed under the brand name ‘CIPtest’.
“CIPtest is a reliable high-performing kit that has been validated and approved by ICMR. It is found to have specificity and sensitivity of 98.09% and up to 75% respectively. It is not only rapid with a quick turn-around time, but also enables easy interpretation of results without the need of any additional instrument. Cipla’s expansive distribution network will help in ensuring supply of kits across the country,” the company statement added.
The drug major had also tied up with Hyderabad-based Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) to work on anti-viral drugs against Covid-19.
Looking to repurpose certain already available drug molecules, the collaboration had been working on three molecules, remdesivir, favipiravir and baloxavir.
While remdesivir was originally developed to treat the Ebola virus disease, favipiravir and baloxavir are anti-virals approved for treating influenza A and B.