ASAB’s Indigenously developed Diagnostic Kit for SARS-CoV-2 gets approved from DRAP-
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The continuously escalating number of corona virus positive cases coupled with the dwindling medical resources have pushed the development of domestically produced testing kits to boost Pakistan’s fight against the pandemic. Dr. Aneela Javed (Associate Professor) and Dr. Ali Zohaib (Assistant Professor), leading scientists at Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB) were the first ones who were successfully able to indigenously develop a robust, sensitive and low cost diagnostic assay for SARS-CoV-2. They had been working tirelessly since January and announced the breakthrough in mid-March. The assay has been developed in collaboration with Wuhan Institute of Virology China, DZIF Germany, Columbia University USA and Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP) Rawalpindi. The N-CovKit has successfully performed lab trials on as many as 330 blind samples and has been able to receive approval from Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP).
Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science & Technology, also confirmed the approval of NUST-made kits by DRAP in his Tweet made on June 12, 2020 saying, “this will bring significant cost reduction of COVID tests,” in the country and will “save huge import bill.” He also extended his felicitations to the leadership of NUST and both scientists, saying that they had made the country proud by their outstanding contribution in the fight against the pandemic by developing these testing kits.
The kits will be mass produced by a selected leading pharmaceutical company, as soon as the company is granted approval from DRAP for commercial production.