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Bhopal’s 3B BlackBio Biotech is second Indian firm to produce COVID-19 testing kits

File photo used for representational purpose.

File photo used for representational purpose.   | Photo Credit: AP

We will try to keep cost below ₹1,000 each, says company official

Bhopal-based 3B Blackbio Biotech (I) Ltd. is going to be the second Indian firm to produce real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) COVID-19 testing kits, after securing the approval of the Centre on April 2.

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A subsidiary of KILPEST India Ltd., the firm’s production capacity of 10,000 kits a day will give a leg up to testing efforts across the country, after its kits were cleared by the Indian Council of Medical Research. So far, Pune-based Mylab has been supplying kits, besides imports from the United States.

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“Different States are making inquiries with us, and we are locking them,” said Dhirendra Dubey, Director, Kilpest India Ltd. “Yet, we are trying to devise a policy wherein all States get kits, and none hoards them. Production is expected to begin in a day or two.”

Mr. Dubey further said, “We are trying to keep the [cost of the] kits below ₹1,000 each. And they will be designed according to the World Health Organisation guidelines. A kit can show results within two hours.”

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The firm’s entire production capacity will be used for producing the kits. “We are using the existing infrastructure as we have been manufacturing molecular diagnostic kits for several years now,” he explains.

According to the kit’s description, it works on any of the available real-time PCR instruments available with laboratories and hence it does not require any new expense on new or closed systems.

The firm in the past had launched India’s first homemade test for another pandemic — H1N1 — commonly known as swine flu.

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Printable version | May 27, 2020 8:59:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/bhopals-3b-blackbio-biotech-is-second-indian-firm-to-produce-covid-19-testing-kits/article31252047.ece

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