Ahmedabad-based startup becomes first Indian licencee to develop Covid-19 testing kits

In a joint venture with US-based Co-Diagnostics, CoSara diagnostics aims to cater to a population of 1.3 billion, and also export Covid-19 testing kits to surrounding regions.

CoSara Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, an Ahmedabad-based molecular diagnostics company, becomes the first and the only Indian startup to receive licence from the Central Drugs Standards Control Organisation (CDSCO) to manufacture RT-PCR COVID-19 test kits.

The CoSara team with the Co-Diagnostics team, after the joint venture was concluded.

The COVID-19 test kits, approved by CDSCO, were originally designed by Co-Diagnostics, the first US-based company to receive a CE marking for a COVID-19 diagnostic. With a unique, patented platform for the development of molecular diagnostic tests, CoSara announced on Thursday that, through this joint venture with Co-Diagnostics, it is expecting to sell these kits in the Indian market and also export to surrounding regions.

Dwight Egan, the CEO of Co-Diagnostics said,

"The high-quality tests built on the patented CoPrimer technology will have a positive impact on what is projected to be the largest healthcare market in the world. Co-Diagnostics is honoured that our joint venture has achieved such a significant milestone."

CoSara has aligned itself with the the 'Make in India' initiative which was introduced in 2014. The goal is to transform India into a global design and manufacturing hub, and senior officials from the health department expedited the approval process for the licence.

Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi on Thursday made a fervent appeal to all Indians to stay indoors as much as possible to avoid getting infected by the coronavirus, saying the world has never seen a danger as grave as this.

He called for 'Janta curfew' on March 22 from 7 am-9 pm, saying no citizen, barring those in essential services, should get out of the house. "Even World War I and II did not affect as many countries as coronavirus has done," Modi said in a national broadcast.

Asking people to sacrifice "some weeks of yours, some time of yours", Modi said given that coronavirus has no cure yet, the only way to stay safe is to stay indoors. "I request all people in the country to get out of the house only when it is extremely necessary, try and do all work from home," he said.

Mohal Sarabhai, Director of CoSara, remarked, "Presently, there are 52 government-approved testing facilities and delivering the kits to those is the first target, in addition to pursuing 60 accredited private labs to conduct COVID-19 tests. Overall, our target market will be private as well as government labs."

Over the last few weeks, India took early measures to recall its citizens, drastically limit travel into the country and eventually close the country’s borders, which has also increased the demand for indigenous COVID-19 tests to serve a population of 1.3 billion.

(Edited by Javed Gaihlot)


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