Minal Dakhve Bhosale, virologist, research and development chief of Mylab Discovery, developed the 1st test kit for COVID-19. Bhosale and her team at Mylab Discovery, developed the testing kit called Patho Detect in just six weeks.
Bhosale told the BBC on Friday, that, “its was done in record time-and weeks instead of three or four months. The test kit gives the diagnosis in two and a half hours while the imported testing kits take sixty-seven hours.”
Bhosale begun work on the kits in February, and on 18th March, just a day after the ICMR’s announcement allowing private labs to test for COVID-19, she submits the kit for evaluation to the state-run National Institute of Virology (NIV). She fought a professional and personal deadline of delivering the functional kits on time along with her pregnancy emergencies and due date approaching closer.
Later in the day, she submitted the proposal to the FDA and CDSCO, an hour before she herself was taken to the hospital to give birth to her daughter.
“It was an emergency, so I took this on as challenge. I have to serve my nation. The hard work paid off. If you carry out 10 tests on the same sample, all the 10 results should be the same. Our kit was perfect.” She said to the BBC.
Mylab Discovery shipped the first batch of 150 to diagnostic labs in Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Goa and Bangalore this week. “Our manufacturing unit is working through the weekend and the next batch will be sent out on Monday,” told Dr. Gautam Wankhede, Mylab’s director to BBC on Friday.
The company has claimed that they can supply uptown 100,000 COVID-19 testing kits a week and can produce up to 200,000 if needed. Each Mylab kit can test 100 samples and costs Rs.1,200- that’s about a quarter of the Rs.4,500 that India pays to import COVID-19 testing kits from abroad.
The government-run Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), under which NIV operates, agreed. It says Mylab was the only Indian company to achieve 100% results.