Bengaluru-based biotech startup Bione said on Thursday that it has launched a rapid covid-19 at-home screening test kit. The company claims that the kit, priced between ₹2,000 and ₹3,000 depending on global supply, is easy to use and displays accurate results within minutes.
A statement from the company said that the screening kit is available for sale on its platform bione.in after approval from the requisite medical regulatory authorities. It added that, under normal circumstances, the kits can be received within 2-3 days of placing the order via their platform.
Bione said it is equipped to supply 20,000 kits a week and intends to build its manufacturing facilities in the next few months.
Bione said its covid-19 screening test kit is an IgG and IgM-based tool that delivers results in 5-10 minutes. After receiving the kit, the user has to clean their 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, it said.
However, irrespective of the results of the home screening kit, Bione urged people to undergo a laboratory test if someone shows symptoms of coronavirus. An immediate and thorough follow-up on the positive test results is required, it said.
The company said that the products have been sourced from their worldwide CE and FDA-approved partners and have been brought to market after ensuring stringent quality controls. The statement added that the kits are approved by ICMR and will be deployed in the market after proper quality checks and assurance. The company is in the process of getting approval for more USFDA partners, it said.
Bione was founded in 2019 in Bengaluru by genomicist Dr Surendra K Chikara. The company had earlier developed a Microbiome test kit to check gut dysbiosis and genetic tests to predict susceptibility to contagious diseases such as covid-19, based on their genetic makeup.
“We had been tracking the pandemic and pooled in a lot of time, resources and attention in our mission to develop a tool effective in curbing the outbreak. The covid-19 home screening test kit has emerged as a breakthrough product in such unprecedented times. By bringing down the result time, we are looking to make an impact and help India fight covid-19. We strongly believe that the government’s support is pivotal in leading a revolution against coronavirus,” Dr Chikara, also the CEO at Bione, said.