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Bengaluru startup launches home screening kit for COVID-19

Bengaluru, April 2, 2020: Bengaluru-based startup firm Bione Ventures Pvt Ltd, a B2C platform for genetic and microbiome testing, has launched a rapid at-home screening kit for COVID-19 that delivers results within minutes. The company said it will make available the product for sale on their platform within a week.

coronavirus"We are importing this screening kit from one of our partners in the US, which has secured USFDA approval for the product. In India, we have secured certification from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The screening kit can provide respite from the impending fear of the COVID-19 contagion," Surendra K Chikara, a genomicist and founder of the company told DH.

The simple point-of-care home screening kit renders quick results, without having to step out in the wake of the lockdown. It will foster timely detection of the disease while acting as a preventive tool for others in proximity to the user, by isolating the carrier immediately, he said.

The kit is likely to be priced between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 depending upon the global supply, to increase its affordability for the masses, he said.

COVID-19 screening test kit is an IgG & IgM-based tool which takes 5-10 minutes to deliver the results. Upon receiving the kit, the user is required to clean the finger with an alcohol swab and use the lancet provided to finger-prick. The cartridge provided reads the results from the blood sample thus obtained, within 5-10 minutes, the company said in a statement.

Bione was founded in 2019 in Bengaluru by Dr Surendra K Chikara, who was among the pioneers in bringing NGS sequencing in India.

The company is well-equipped to supply 20,000 kits per week and intends to build its manufacturing facilities in the coming months to cater to the demand, he added.

Courtesy: Deccan Herald

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