Here's how Mylab developed cost-effective and time-saving COVID-19 test kits for India

Mylab's team of scientists was led by the woman scientist who received praise for working on the test kits despite being in her last stage of pregnancy.

Here's how Mylab developed cost-effective and time-saving COVID-19 test kits for India

Monday April 06, 2020,

3 min Read

As India fights the pandemic, scientists and healthcare providers are putting their own lives on the line to provide a medical solution to cure the spread of novel coronavirus. 

A significant milestone to fight the disease has been achieved by Pune-based molecular diagnostics startup, Mylab. The startup has developed Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit for faster diagnosis, and has also become the first to receive commercial approval from Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO).

coronavirus test

The team

The team of 10 scientists started developing the kit six weeks ago, along with their team leader Minal Dakhave Bhosale, a Virologist and Mylab's Research and Development Chief, to achieve this milestone.  

Not only did the team work hard to develop the kit on time, team leader Minal Dakhave also dedicated herself to the project during one of the most crucial times of her life.

According to BBC, the scientist began her work on the COVID-19 test kit in February, just a few days after being discharged from the hospital where she was being treated for a pregnancy complication.

Taking it upon herself as a challenge, and to help her nation during the times of distress, the new mother succeeded in developing the kit and went on to submit it to National Institute of Virology (NIV) for evaluation on March 18, just a day before delivering her baby daughter.

Minal, who is currently recovering, reportedly submitted the proposal to CDSCO for commercial approval just an hour before being escorted to the hospital.

While the team not only helped India take the leap against coronavirus in this battle, their hard work and passion left the startup ecosystem in awe.

Taking to Twitter, former Chairman of Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd (M&M), Anand Mahindra, and Biocon Limited Chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw expressed their gratitude towards Minal for her commendable job.

Cost-effective and time-saving

Mylab-developed ‘Made in India’ test kits are capable of diagnosing a patient in two-and-a-half hours, unlike the imported kits, which currently take up to seven hours.

The Indian government till now has been importing RT-PCR kits from Germany and Switzerland. This move is helping the government reduce its dependency on foreign products and also avoid supply difficulties due to grounded airlines. The startup also claimed that Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit would cost just around one-fourth of the current procurement cost.

According to a BBC report, the test kit developed by India costs just Rs 1,200, a lot less compared to the Rs 4,500 kit, which the government imports from beyond borders. 

After receiving commercial approval, the startup recently announced its partnership with Serum India CEO Adar Poonawalla and AP Globale Chairman Abhijit Pawar to scale up the operations and speed up the delivery of its COVID-19 testing kits.

(Edited by Kanishk Singh)