Home > AMU Alumnus Biochemist Nadeem Rahman Develops Coronavirus Rapid Testing Kit, Gets Approval of ICMR

AMU Alumnus Biochemist Nadeem Rahman Develops Coronavirus Rapid Testing Kit, Gets Approval of ICMR

18 Apr 2020 02:04 PM, IST


AMU Alumnus Biochemist Nadeem Rahman Develops Coronavirus Rapid Testing Kit, Gets Approval of ICMR
Nadeem Rahman, Director, NuLife Consultants & Distributors (Pvt) Ltd, Noida, UP (Photo - screenshot from video interview)

"We are proud that an AMU alumnus has developed the much-needed affordable testing kit when we see the surge in the number of coronavirus cases in the country.”—AMU VC

 

India Tomorrow

 

NEW DELHI, APRIL 18— When the Coronavirus disease is spreading in the country and people are not getting tested in large numbers, a Noida-based lab has come up with a cost-effective rapid testing kit which, it claims, can give results of Coronavirus within 15 minutes.

 

“What we have developed is anti-body based kit. It is also called rapid testing kit because it gives instant results. Technology of RT-PCR kit is different from rapid kits. RT-PCR requires a machine, skilled hand, extraction kit and expert hand. What we have developed is a very simple, easy to handle, cost effective and will help screening of more people in less time. The objective of our process for this kit was to give results instantly and easily and it is affordable,” Nadeem Rahman, Director of NuLife Consultants & Distributors (Pvt) Ltd, says in a video interview to The Wire.

 

He has set the price of the kit between Rs 500-600. “We will try to bring it further down. We are providing these kits at this rate to ICMR and other government agencies. And I hope, common people will get it at the same price.”

 

On lateral flow technology, it is the first COVID-19 testing kit developed in India.

 

For each RT-PCR testing, whose kits are brought from abroad, the government last month fixed a price of Rs 4,500 for both private and government labs. Last week, the Supreme Court had ordered to hold testing free for all. However, at the request of private labs, the top court revised its order and said the free testing will be only for the poor.

 

If the rapid testing kit prepared by Rahman’s lab becomes successful, then it will immensely help in conducting testing of lakhs of people within days. Compared to several other countries, India has been able to conduct fewer tests of COVID-19.

 

“Mass production of kits will start from next week and by end of next week, we will have good production size. In the present condition of availability of labor and capacity, we will be able to produce one lakh kit every day,” he said.

 

Meanwhile, in his daily media briefing on Saturday, Lav Agarwal, joint secretary in the Union Health Ministry, commented on antibody rapid testing and RT-PCR testing and said that RT-PCR is the gold standard for frontline test.

 

“Rapid antibody test kits are to be used in hotspots. It can also be used for surveillance and for epidemiological purposes in such areas where COVID-19 cases have not emerged so far. RT-PCR test is the gold standard for frontline test and antibody test cannot replace this test. Utility of rapid antibody test is primarily for assessing prevalence of infection in a particular area,” the official was quoted as saying by PTI news agency.

 

Rahman, who has bachelor's and master’s degree in biochemistry from Aligarh Muslim University, has thanked the Uttar Pradesh government for the required support in the lockdown and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) for fast process of validation and approval.

 

“I feel happy that we can do something for the country, can add value to it and in this crisis of COVID-19, nothing can be expected more than this development. I am especially thankful to the UP government for the support they have given otherwise it would not have been possible in the lockdown,” he said.

 

“I should acknowledge the support we got from ICMR which sent our product for approval and validation very fast and gave us results. We have got clearance from the government and then have launched the product,” he said.

 

His team was able to launch the product in two and a half weeks.    

 

Rahman had set up his company NuLife 25 years ago. It works at research end in collaboration with scientists.

 

“We are a group of people - all of them are scientific people - they know the science behind the product they are developing, this helps us in improving our products.”

 

Before setting up his own company, Rahman has worked as Territory Manager at Amersham International Plc (UK) between 1993-95 and as Manager at Amesham Pharmacia between 1995-97.

 

Besides B.Sc. and M.Sc. in biochemistry from AMU, Rahman had done MBA in business administration and marketing.

 

We Are Proud of Nadeem Rahman: AMU Vice Chancellor

 

“We are proud that an AMU alumnus has developed the much-needed affordable testing kit when we see the surge in the number of coronavirus cases despite stringent measures are being implemented in the country.  It is a major cause of worry,” said AMU Vice Chancellor, Professor Tariq Mansoor, while praising Rahman for his invaluable contribution to India’s fight to curb COVID-19.    

 

Prof Qayyum Husain, Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences who taught Rahman when he was pursuing BSc and MSc in Biochemistry at AMU said that the launch of first anti-body based testing kit in India is an extra-ordinary achievement in the public interest.

 

“It looks incredible that an alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University has developed the first indigenous coronavirus testing kit in response to World Health Organisation (WHO)'s call to all countries to ramp up coronavirus testing,” said AMU VC office in a statement.







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