The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has unveiled its yet another achievement which will aide country's ongoing fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. DRDO's Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences (DIPAS) has developed an antibody detection-based kit 'DIPCOVAN', the DIPAS-VDx COVID 19 IgG Antibody Microwell ELISA for sero-surveillance.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh appreciated the efforts of DRDO and industry in developing the kit at the time of need.
Why DIPCOVAN kit can be a gamechanger
The DIPCOVAN kit can detect both spike as well as nucleocapsid (S&N) proteins of SARS-CoV-2 virus with a high sensitivity of 97% and specificity of 99%.
The kit has been developed in association with Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a New Delhi-based development and manufacturing diagnostics company.
The DIPCOVAN kit was developed indigenously by the scientists, followed by extensive validation on more than 1000 patient samples at various COVID designated hospitals in Delhi. Three batches of the product were validated during last one year. The antibody detection kit is approved by ICMR in April this year.
In May 2021, the product received the regulatory approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI), CDSCO, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, to manufacture for sale and distribution.
DIPCOVAN is intended for the qualitative detection of IgG antibodies in human serum or plasma, targeting SARS-CoV-2 related antigens. It offers a significantly faster turn-around-time as it requires just 75 minutes to conduct the test without any cross reactivity with other diseases. The kit has a shelf life of 18 months.
Launch date, price
Industry partner Vanguard Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd will commercially launch the product during the first week of June 2021. Readily available stock at the time of launch will be 100 kits (Approx 10,000 tests) with a production capacity of 500 kits/month after the launch. It is expected to be available at about
Rs 75 per test.
The kit will be very useful for understanding COVID‐19 epidemiology and assessing an individual's previous SARS‐CoV‐2 exposure.