COVID-19 cases have started to see an exponential rise in India, with the number of positive cases crossing the 2000 mark today. While the government has adopted stern measures to contain this spread, a more aggressive and robust testing mechanism will further help India in containing the spread.
As Government pushed local innovation and aggressively scouted for Made-In-India solutions to tackle the ongoing outbreak, Pune-based molecular diagnostic chain MyLab received commercial approval for the production of first county-made COVID-19 testing kits. And now, there is further development on that end.
Given the gravity of the situation and the dearth of kits in the country, MyLab has brought on board two investors to ramp up production and delivery of COVID-19 test kits. The diagnostic chain has brought onboard Serum Institute India’s CEO Adar Poonawalla and Abhijit Pawar, Chairman of APG, as investors to scale up the production. The amount of investment remains undisclosed.
While MyLab had already committed to producing 150,000 kits per week, the latest investment will be used for scaling production of COVID-19 testing kits and expansion of molecular diagnostic solutions, it said.
Abhijit Pawar, Chairman AP Globale, said, “We are honored to stand by our Prime Minister and our government while supporting them during these trying times. This partnership will ensure we do our bit to help in this time of crisis.”
Talking about the partnership, Adar Poonawalla, CEO, Serum Institute India’s said, “In the next few weeks we will be ramping up the production of the COVID-19 testing kits taking from 1.5 lakh tests/week to 20 lakh tests/week. The shortage of testing kits will come to an end in a month or two.”
“MyLab and their team have shown exceptionally innovative capabilities when they were able to develop a time-saving testing kit within 6-weeks of its outbreak. The investment towards Mylab will enable them to build their infrastructure and expand their capabilities further”, he added.
The company, which already has capacity to produce up to 150K test kits a week, is planning to ramp it up to as high as 2 million test kits per week. The Mylab manufacturing facility, approved by FDA/CDSCO is compliant with MDR 2017 regulation for Manufacturing Medical Device of Class A,B,C and D and ISO 13485: 2016 certification.
Sujit Jain, Director, Mylab Discovery solutions Pvt Ltd. said, “This will help Mylab create a world-class organization, which will help India become a leader in molecular diagnostics.”
Based in Pune, Mylab is the first Indian company to get commercial approval for its testing kits named as Mylab PathoDetect COVID-19 Qualitative PCR kit. The testing kit is approved by India’S Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) and has passed ICMR evaluation for commercial production.
The kit is based on a Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction technique that combines reverse transcription of RNA and DNA. The kit also reduces the testing time from 4 hours to 2.5 hours. The addition of these new kits will push India’s testing capacity up significantly, which currently stands at 12000. Once Mylab achieves its full capacity, India could well become outnumber other nations when it comes to testing The government has also roped in 157 other private lab chains to increase the capacity.