COVAXIN, India’s first COVID-19 vaccine candidate, set for phase I clinical trial
A potential COVID-19 vaccine, the primary to be developed in India, has been given DCGI (Drug Controller General of India) approval for phase I clinical trial and phase II human clinical trials that are scheduled to start out across the country in July. Developed by Hyderabad-based Bharat Biotech, in association with ICMR (Indian Council for Medical Research), COVAXIN is an inactivated vaccine, made from a strain of the irresistible SARS-CoV-2 virus, that has indicated guarantee in preclinical investigations, demonstrating extensive safety and effective immune responses. Drug manufacturers round the world are racing to develop a vaccine against the novel coronavirus; a completely unique virus is one that has never previously been identified in humans, making the task of making a vaccine much harder. The proactive support and direction from the Central Drugs Standard Control Organization (CDSCO) had enabled approvals for the project, Dr Krishna M Ella, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Biotech International Limited, said during a statement. The indigenous, inactivated vaccine has been developed and manufactured in Bharat Biotech’s Bio-Safety Level 3 (BSL-3) High Containment facility located in Hyderbad’s Genome Valley. The company is additionally involved in the development of CoroFlu, a nasal vaccine for COVID-19, as a part of a world collaboration of virologists at the University of Wisconsin– Madison and vaccine firm FluGen.
Sun Pharma initiates Phase II clinical trial on a phytopharmaceutical drug as potential treatment for COVID-19 patients
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd announced that it has commenced Phase II clinical trial on AQCH, a phytopharmaceutical (plant-derived) drug for treatment of COVID-19. The Company received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) for conducting Phase II clinical trial. The clinical trial will be conducted across 12 centres in India in 210 patients. The treatment duration for the patients will be 10 days. The results of the clinical trial are expected by October 2020. Human safety study of AQCH has already been completed and the drug has been found to be safe at the recommended dose for Phase II study.
Sun Pharma receives approval from DCGI to initiate clinical trial with Nafamostat in COVID-19 patients
Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd has announced that it has received approval from the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) to initiate a clinical trial with Nafamostat Mesilate in COVID-19 patients. Nafamostat is approved in Japan for improvement of acute symptoms of pancreatitis and treatment of Disseminated Intravascular Coagulation (DIC). A group of scientists from the University of Tokyo, Japan and Leibniz Institute for Primate Research, Germany have recently demonstrated that Nafamostat, at very low concentrations, suppresses a protein (TMPRSS2) that the COVID-19 virus uses to enter human lung cells.
A start-up in Kochi run by children made non-contact IR thermometer and portable automatic sanitizer dispenser
Urav Advanced Learning Systems Private Limited, a company in Kochi for children, run by children, with the objective to develop useful products while learning and at the same time has loads of fun together. The company is manufacturing DIY kits where the person can assemble and learn the working of the product. For example, a non-contact thermometer and portable automatic sanitizer dispenser is necessary for a situation like the pandemic now. At the same time, due to the lockdown, children do not have an opportunity to spend their time in a worthwhile manner. So, the start-up has created a thermometer kit where children will assemble the thermometer using a video tutorial to get the finished working product and learn about electronics at the same time. Similarly, they made a portable automatic sanitizer dispenser kit which comes with USB cable, charger and can be used directly with AC supply or with a power bank to make it portable.
Contact Info: firstname.lastname@example.org
HLL Lifecare Limited introduces ‘Makesure’ rapid diagnostic antibody kit for COVID-19 detection
HLL Lifecare Limited, a Central Government Enterprise under Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, is an Indian healthcare product manufacturing company based in Thiruvananthapuram. It has developed a rapid antibody diagnostic kit for COVID-19. This is a one-step detection kit for novel Coronavirus with which IgM/IgG Antibody is detected from the human serum, plasma and/or whole blood obtained from the patient with signs and symptoms of respiratory infection. The kit manufactured at HLL’s rapid diagnostic kit manufacturing facility in Manesar, Haryana has been validated and approved by NIV Pune and ICMR for use in India. This device is designed to aid in the rapid differential diagnosis of COVID-19 infections in large population screening. This will support in the management of control and treatment of COVID-19. The test result can be obtained from the sample within 15-20 minutes. HLL is the first Government of India enterprise to receive the approval from ICMR for manufacturing and supplying the rapid antibody kit for COVID-19 detection. The kit will be marketed under the brand name of ‘MakeSure’ COVID IgM/IgG Antibody detection. The principle of this kit is based on Antibody capture immunochromatographic assay for the simultaneous detection of IgM & IgG antibodies to COVID-19 virus in human serum, plasma and/or whole blood samples. HLL is also planning to develop and manufacture Viral Transport Medium which is in short supply in the country. As the molecular test volume picks up it will be required in huge quantities. HLL also started manufacturing hand sanitizer, ‘Medigard’ in its manufacturing facilities in Peroorkkada, Trivandrum and Belgaum, Karnataka factories.
Labcare develops one-step rapid card test for COVID-19 in human serum/plasma/whole blood
The Accucare COVID-19 IgG/IgM Cassette Rapid Test is a lateral flow immunoassay for qualitative detection of antibodies to novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in serum, plasma and whole blood specimens. It is intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 viral infections. Any reactive specimen with the Accucare COVID-19 IgG/IgM Cassette Rapid Test must be confirmed with alternative testing method(s). The test cassette consists of: 1) a burgundy-coloured conjugate pad containing SARS-CoV-2 recombinant antigens conjugated with colloidal gold (SARS-CoV-2 conjugates) and rabbit IgGgold conjugates; 2) a nitrocellulose membrane strip containing an IgG line (G Line) coated with anti-human IgG, an IgM line (M Line) coated with anti-human IgM, and the C line (C Line) coated with goat anti-rabbit IgG. When an adequate volume of test specimen is dispensed into the sample well of the test cassette, the specimen migrates by capillary action along the cassette. The anti-SARS-CoV-2 virus IgG, if present in the specimen, will bind to the SARS-CoV-2 conjugates. The immunocomplex is then captured by the anti-human IgG line, forming a burgundy coloured G line, indicating a SARSCoV-2 virus IgG positive test result suggesting a secondary infection or previous infection. IgM anti-SARS-CoV-2 virus, if present in the specimen, will bind to the SARS-CoV-2 conjugates. The immunocomplex is then captured by the anti-human IgM line, forming a burgundy coloured M line, indicating a SARS-CoV-2 virus IgM positive test result suggesting a fresh primary infection. If both G line and M line are visible, the test result suggests late primary or early secondary SARS-CoV-2 infection. Absence of both test bands (G and M) suggests a negative result. The test contains an internal control (C line) which should exhibit a burgundy coloured band of goat anti-rabbit IgG/rabbit IgG-gold conjugate immunocomplex regardless of the colour development on any of the test bands (G and M). Otherwise, the test result is invalid and the specimen must be retested again.
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Pune-based companies develop ImmunoQuick Rapid COVID-19 Test kit
With the collaborative efforts of ImmunoScience India Pvt. Ltd. and Biolinx Labsystems Pvt Ltd. a COVID-19 antibody test has been developed, which has been named as ImmunoQuick®. It had been developed on an urgent basis, starting in March. It has now been approved by the ICMR-National Institute of Virology and received registration from Central Drugs Standards Organisation (CDSCO) on April 16, 2020. 27 Unlike ordinary antibody tests, ImmunoQuick COVID-19 test separates the2 sorts of antibodies–IgM and IgG–into separate bands. This has enormous advantages because clinicians can now separate patients into early infections, active patients and resolved/ cured patients.
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Kwality Healthcare from Thane manufacturing safety products for healthcare
Thane-based Kwality Healthcare is a distinguished organisation of this domain, engaged in manufacturing and supplying a finest assortment of safety products. A wide range of products are available to the patrons in multifarious specifications and sizes r. Moreover, they present customized range to the clients, that is accredited for its notable attributes such as longer service life, light weight, easy to dispose and comfortable. Although the company is manufacturing a number of products since long but they boost up their products to combat COVID-19 like, disposable surgical and bouffant cap, surgical facemask, respiratory mask, cup mask, pocket mask, hand gloves, disposable non-woven shoe cover, etc. The products have longer service life, are light-weight, easy to dispose and comfortable.
Pro NuEx–Mini Prep Viral RNA Extraction Kit developed by OPRL Bio Sciences
OPRL Bio Sciences Pvt. LTd. (Formerly ORANGE) from Chennai is an organization that manufactures biotech instruments, both standard and customised products, teaching kits, research kits, biochemical buffers, plasmid and DNA, Markers (DNA & protein), etc. It has developed an extraction kit for isolation of viral RNA from cell-free fluids such as Plasma, Nasopharyngeal swab, Serum, Oropharyngeal swab, Sputum, BAL in Viral Transport Medium and other body fluids for COVID-19 detection. 33 This kit carries out efficient extraction of viral RNA from wide range of viral strains. The sample is first lysed under the highly denaturing conditions provided by Buffer (OPLB) to inactivate RNases and ensure isolation of intact viral RNA. When Carrier RNA is added to precipitation step, it improves the binding of viral RNA to the Miniprep Spin Column, especially in the case of low-titer samples, and limits possible degradation of the viral RNA due to any residual RNase activity.
AURA Biotech manufacturing PCR Aura Pure Quick COVID-19 Viral RNA Isolation Kit
AURA Biotechnologies Private Limited is a Chennai-based Pharmaceutical and Biotechnology Research organization involved in developing innovative technologies to expedite the R & D process and lessen the drug and diagnostic development cost. AURA’s quick COVID-19 viral RNA isolation kit is used for the isolation of VIRAL RNA from Nasal/throat swab collected in Viral Transfer Medium (VTM). This kit has been designed using magnetic nanobead-based technology validated by ICMR-NIV, Pune. AURA Pure beads are built with high magnetic power with large surface for the maximum load of viral RNA. The simple protocol comes with a magnetic separator for 12 tubes format.
Alcham Diagnostic launches VTM With ICMR approval to combat COVID-19
Alcham Diagnostics is a Coimbatore-based manufacturing and exporting company of clinical and research disposable products. These medical disposable products are highly appreciated for its high quality and are widely recognised by medical and research institutions. They develops Viral Transport Medium (VTM) consisting of Flocked Nylon Swabs/Cotton Swabs, modified Hank’s BSS and a buffer to maintain the pH (pH 7.3 ± 0.2) of medium. VTM includes protein for stabilisation and antimicrobial agents to suppress bacterial and fungal contamination without harming viruses, chlamydiae and mycoplasmas. It helps store samples for long periods by preserving viruses when stored frozen with the presence of a cryoprotectant and must be stored at 10 to 30 degree until usage of the product.
Noida-based company developing and manufacturing COVID-19 products
A Noida-based company named Karigar Niryat Private Limited is developing and manufacturing a number of products for COVID-19 warriors, like Coverall with Shoe covers, Eye Protection Goggles and Shield, Latex Surgical Gloves, 3-Ply Breathable Surgical Mask, Eco-friendly Disposable Bag, and Apron and Wrap. These COVID-19 technological interventions are cheaper, reusable and washable which automatically cut down the buyers’ cost. The products are easy to move and comfortable to wear for long working hours as they facilitate evaporation of sweat. They also avoid skin issues that may develop due to heat and sweat and hence healthier. These products have been developed considering the environmental concerns too.
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Infinita Biotech manufacturing hand sanitizers and disinfectants
Being a Chemical and Biochemical Products manufacturing company, Vadodara-based Infinita Biotech is moving ahead in the industry related to providing cleaning, sanitising and disinfecting technologies and services. Cleaning helps wash off the germs, dirt and other organic materials of the surface. The products are made up of chemicals and biochemical materials that are safe to handle and kill germs also.
Contact info: firstname.lastname@example.org
Zero Contact Key for safe handling of doors developed by 3D Spectra Technologies LLP
3D Spectra Technologies LLP has developed an intelligent solution to minimize contact with germs-infected surfaces like door handles, etc. The product named ‘ZERO CONTACT KEY’ is a multipurpose device in the real sense. It can be used anywhere for no-contact operation of handles and latches for doors and windows, as well as storage cabinets, elevator buttons, and even electric switches and bathroom faucets. This latest innovation from 3D Spectra Tech has comfortable, ergonomic design, extremely pocket-friendly, can be sterilised, durable and ideal for use in the post-COVID-19 world. This has been designed to eliminate any chances of infection through contact with contaminated surfaces.
Biocon Biologics receives DCGI approval for emergency use of CytoSorb® to treat critical COVID-19 patients
Biocon Ltd. from Bengaluru, an innovation-led global biopharmaceuticals company, announced that its subsidiary Biocon Biologics has received the Drugs Controller General of India’s (DCGI) approval for an extracorporeal blood purification (EBP) device CytoSorb® to reduce pro-inflammatory cytokines levels in confirmed COVID-19 patients admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU) with confirmed or imminent respiratory failure. Biocon Biologics has been granted licence for emergency use of CytoSorb in public interest by the Indian health regulator to treat COVID-19 patients who are 18 years of age or older. The licence will be effective until control of the COVID-19 outbreak in the country. CytoSorb is plug-and-play compatible with the most commonly used blood purification machines or pumps in the ICU used to treat COVID-19 patients, including hemoperfusion, hemodialysis, continuous renal replacement therapy (CRRT), and extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) machines. Studies have shown that COVID-19 patients who develop serious complications experience a ‘cytokine storm,’ also known as Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), which leads to excessive inflammation, organ failure and death. The goal of CytoSorb therapy is to reduce cytokine storm and the deadly inflammatory response through blood purification so that this injury may be mitigated or prevented. The Company has received approval from DCGI in Form MD-15 (Medical Device) for reducing pro-inflammatory cytokine levels in order to control the ‘cytokine storm’ and benefit COVID-19 patients who are in a critical condition.
Mangaluru-based Start-up develops portable refrigerator for novel Coronavirus specimen transport
Blackfrog Technologies from Mangaluru, a product development and consultancy firm, had developed Emvólio (previously called Sanjivani) by a nine-member team working out of an R&D facility in Manipal over the last three years. Emvólio is a portable, battery-operated medical-grade refrigeration system that ensures lastmile transport of COVID-19 specimens, vaccines, etc. 31 Emvólio is at the cutting edge of cold chain solutions with its ability to maintain a stable 2-8 degrees celsius temperature platform for up to 12 hours in the field. Moreover, it offers continuous temperature monitoring, location tracking, state-of-charge indication, and communication of vital statistics with the headquarters via live tracking. The rugged 1.5 litrecapacity cold chamber (as per WHO standards) is designed with dual-layered stainless steel 304 for corrosion resistance and easy sterilization. With Emvólio, Blackfrog Technologies Pvt. Ltd. is able to help build a system where large number of specimens can be collected from the field and transported back to a mother-laboratory without compromising on test accuracy. This project seeks to build a system that separates the point-of-collection of the specimen from the testing facility, while maintaining the integrity of the samples. While awaiting the results, the patient would remain self-quarantined. The entire diagnostic process is done remotely, and for most people who are low-risk and can be safely cared for at home, they need never risk exposure during the entire process of diagnosis, treatment, and recovery
Delhi-based Start-up SNA Sistec develops Smart Sanitiser
SNA Sistec Pvt Ltd, a Delhi-based start-up under Invest India Initiatives is working in the field of safety security and automation services. It has developed Smart Sanitiser that dispenses 1 ml of sanitizer automatically in the person’s hands when placed under the dispenser. This also gives an accurate body temperature of the user to detect any suspected corona infected person. SNA Dispenser is a smart non-touch device, with a filling capacity of 500ml/1000ml. With its smart human hand detection system it gives 1ml of sanitizer on hands and displays live body temperature of the person at the downside of the Dispenser. This is a preventive technology and is incubated at B-Nest Smart City Development Corporation in Bhopal. It can be used in hospitals, offices and public spaces. SNA Sistec can produce 2,500 units a day. The estimated price per unit is Rs. 1,800.
Multiple Autonomous Mobile Robots developed by Samvardhana Motherson to fight against COVID-19
Samvardhana Motherson Health Solution (SMHS), which offers innovative healthcare IT solutions that aligns technology, businesses and customers, is working on smart robotic solutions to conduct operations as usual, with the added layer of maintaining safety and minimizing the spread of infection. Dynamo, a trained Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) runs on natural navigation and is equipped to protect employees, equipment and minimize vulnerabilities. SMHS is the proud advance partner of Addverb Technologies and under the Make in India initiative has built technological solutions like AMR for tele-thermography and fumigation, UV disinfection and intra-logistics.
Tele-thermography and Fumigation Robot: Thermal guns face accuracy challenges and manual limitation. Thermography robots are ideal for scanning not only individuals but large flow of people. These trained bots run on natural navigation and are equipped with thermal sensors to regularly scan each individual within premises are connected with internal COVID-19 taskforce to alert vulnerabilities.
UV Disinfection Robot: High-touch surfaces are a reservoir for infection; UV disinfection robots can easily and efficiently disinfect rooms, corridors, and other units in plants. The machines emit ultraviolet light and using LiDAR technology they scan the environment and navigate and operate completely autonomously. They can be remotely controlled. The robot is safe, reliable and eliminates human error and operates only when people are not around, using its sensors to detect motion. It also ensures reaching all high-touch surfaces, eliminating possibility of cross-contamination subject to human error.
Intra-logistics Robot: Delivery robots are effective in contactless delivery and to automate and streamline order fulfilment, ensuring continuity and productivity even during a global pandemic. Operating through an onboard computer/tablet, it has two-stage obstacle sensors for flawless movement and advance analytics for asset utilization.
Philips Respironics E30 ventilator to treat respiratory insufficiency
Philips is responding to the pressing global need, created by COVID-19 outbreak, by quickly scaling production of the new Philips Respironics E30 ventilator. The scaling-up of the production is initiated considering the needs of healthcare workers and COVID-19 patients while complying to medical device quality standards at the same time. This global ventilator solution can be purchased by governments and hospitals which are experiencing ventilator shortages. The Philips Respironics E30 ventilator can be used when there is limited access to a fully featured critical care ventilator. Philips Innovation Campus, established in 1996 in Bengaluru, is a premier software research and development unit of Royal Philips. It hosts over 3000 experts working on innovative solutions across the healthcare continuum to improve people’s health.
Pune-based PadCare Labs develops UV-based sanitization system to combat COVID-19
PadCare Labs from Pune is an innovation-driven company solving unmet need of menstrual waste management which is providing safe, accessible & eco-friendly decontamination system, to sanitize inanimate objects through institutional organizations by novel UV design technology which is instant,portable and cost-effective in operation unlike traditional chemical sanitizers. The germicidal range of UV light, known as UVC, deactivates bacteria, viruses, and other microbes by attacking their DNA. UVC light is able to penetrate the cells of microorganisms and disrupt the structure of the DNA molecules. The microorganisms, in turn, lose their reproductive capability and are destroyed, rendering them inactive and no longer harmful. The germicidal nature of UVC is well-suited to treat microorganisms which become extremely resistant to chemical disinfectants, as they are unable to develop immunity to UVC light. Two such UV-based products for sanitization and disinfection of area and inanimate objects are UVSAN & UVHandy.
UVSAN: It is used to disinfect the larger areas like hospitals, ambulance, shopping malls and PPEs etc.
UVHandy: It is used for disinfection of inanimate objects.
Tech Mahindra designs COVID-19 Protein Comparison Analysis
Tech Mahindra designs COVID-19 Protein Comparison Analysis using a computational statistics method. The design principle is based on a common software principle called YAGNI. This principle has been designed to simplify the process and act of writing code, so that it affects the most where needed, without changing the entire underlying premise. It is known that protein structures and shape do affect the way proteins behave but as a starting point the peptide chains in Corona were observed and compared with peptide chains in other viruses of similar types. The basic idea was if a chemical compound is known to act on one, it might give scientists a head start to act on this virus. Since these are experimental conclusions drawn numerically, these need to be validated by labs and other practitioners.
Bengaluru-based Artelus develops AI-powered COVID-19 screening software
Artelus has developed an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered COVID-19 screening software. Through this software, if one uploads a chest X-ray (or a photo of the X -ray), the system can identify COVID-19, Pneumonia, and Tuberculosis. Results from reading thousands of Xrays have showed that the system can achieve accuracy comparable to radiologists (above 90% sensitivity and above 80% specificity across conditions).The accuracy has been achieved by using more than 1.3 lakh images for pre-training, training and testing. This solution is also available offline on a stick that can be connected to any X-ray machine and computer for AI readings. With this solution, the large network of radiologists with X-ray facilities can become the first centre for filtration. Through this screening, only COVID-19-positive patients can be sent to the State-appointed screening centres thus reducing the burden and allowing efficient operations. This solution has been developed to support the fight against the pandemic outburst.
Contact Info: Dr Girish Somvanshi; email@example.com
COVID-19 detection AI Service using chest X-Rays
AI Bharata has developed an R&D Artificial Intelligence (AI) Prototype for COVID-19 infection detection using chest X-Rays. The current AI model can detect and differentiate between NORMAL,PNEUMONIA, and COVID-19,with anAccuracy of 99.3% on training data and has an accuracy of 91.3% on validation data.Validation data consists of X-Ray images of patients, which was not used during training. This demonstrates that AI can learn from a set of patients and use it to detect the infection on other patients. One of the holy grail of AI is that it can be used to identify factors and pointers that are not known to humankind yet, to detect the onset of novel infections such as COVID-19. AI Bharata believes that it can uncover detection factors that are not yet known in the literature or to doctors for identifying the progression of this novel COVID-19 virus. AI Bharata is a stealth mode start-up focused on developing next-generation AI products, services and emerging technologies including but not limited to Super-Intelligence, Cybernetics, Neuromorphic Computing, and Medical AI.
Virtuasa develops ‘Track & Trace Solution’ for Coronavirus Test Kits (CVTK)
Virtusa is a leading provider of Digital Engineering Services and operates in more than 20 countries. The Company has proposed an innovative Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled Coronavirus Test Kits (CVTK) inventory management solution. It is an end-to-end IoT-driven solution with a focus on improving the patient outcome and drastically reduces the test turnaround time. Some of the salient benefits of the solutions are as follows: Complete visibility into CVTK movements (across all modes of transport) – GPS enabled tracking and tracing; 100% adherence to strict safety and health standards – Prevent any mishandling of sample during transit; Digitally signed and tagged patient information for ensuring CVTK sample integrity; Record and Monitor ambient humidity and temperature of the samples during transport; Alarm and notifications, if samples do not reach destination on time; Provide dashboard on CVTK inventory status; real-time tracking; 100% traceability and test progress.
Contact Info: Giridhara Madakashira; firstname.lastname@example.org
Bing’s COVID-19 Tracker releases new features customized to help Indian citizens
Microsoft has announced new features on the Bing COVID-19 Tracker to help citizens of India stay up-to-date with the latest on the pandemic. These include the integration of the Apollo Hospitals Bot for self-assessment and a hub for telemedicine support from reputed healthcare organizations. The Tracker will also offer content in nine Indian languages to provide people across the country access to critical information related to the pandemic in preferred language. The Bing COVID-19 Tracker serves as a single, credible hub of news and official government information. It allows users to track COVID-19 infections across the globe and in India at a 38 hyperlocal level. Users can get statistics on infection, recoveries and fatalities in their own states and districts. They can also save locations of their near and dear ones to quickly view stats of those areas at one place. The Tracker provides authentic information on helpline numbers and testing centres as well as guidance and advisories from credible sources, including those from the Government of India and World Health Organization (WHO).
ReMeDi® SCAN-CORONA platform, a Solution to assist control the COVID-19 Pandemic, announced by e-Zest and Neurosynaptic Announce
e-Zest Solutions and Neurosynaptic Communications announces the ReMeDi® SCANCORONA platform, an innovative technology solution to help control the COVID-19 pandemic. The solution features a Corona-Screen Kit – a portable, lightweight kit that includes basic screening tools that seamlessly connect and feed data into a Patient Health Record (PHR) system without any manual intervention. It also features a geo-tagging-powered Screening app that imports and analyzes data from the screening tools as well as travel and medical history. The input from a 3rd party COVID-19 rapid testing kit further enhances the accuracy of the outcome.
ReMeDi® SCAN-CORONA helps frontline health workers to quickly assess the essential risk factors for a person digitally. It has the unique ability to track the progression of symptoms with time. The Tele-consultation facility allows individuals to obtain counselling as well as consult doctors independent of location, to access timely information and guidance.
US Firm Ansys to assist IIT Kanpur start-up in development of low-cost ventilators
Ansys, a global engineering simulation company, entered into an agreement with an IIT Kanpurled consortium to assist in the development of low-cost ventilators to fight the COVID-19 outbreak in India. Under the supervision of the consortium, Nocca Robotics, an IIT Kanpurincubated start-up, is developing indigenised and low-cost invasive ventilators called Nocca V110. Engineers at Nocca Robotics have prototypes of a portable machine ready. They are being tested on artificial lungs, a prosthetic device that provides oxygen and removes carbon dioxide from the blood. Nocca V110 is a modular, power efficient invasive ventilator that operates in a pressure-controlled mode, and the IoT (the Internet of Things) enabled design allows multiple ventilators to be controlled via remote control. It has been designed in a way that it can be manufactured on a large scale at multiple sites using materials easily available with Indian suppliers and manufacturers. The entire project is being coordinated by Professor Amitabha Bandyopadhyay, professor-in-charge, Start-up Innovation & Incubation Centre (SIIC), IIT Kanpur. Ansys, headquartered in the US, is the first company which has joined hands with the consortium and FIRST (Foundation for Innovation and Research in Science Technology), the premier institute’s company that oversees incubation activities of IIT Kanpur to speed up the development of these ventilators.
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PNB Housing Finance Limited funds IIT Delhi start-up ETEX for developing PPE customised for healthcare professionals
The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IITD) is being funded by PNB Housing Finance Limited (PNBHFL) towards its fight against COVID-19 by developing personal protective equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers. IITD and PNBHFL have signed a Memorandum of Understanding under which, IIT Delhi startup ETEX incubated at IITD, will be working to develop and deliver smart textile solutions for healthcare. The team has a strong expertise in textile engineering and has technical support from researchers and professionals from interdisciplinary backgrounds including electronics, medical, material and design. The team is committed to innovate advanced technologies related to protection (against pollution and COVID-19), pain, health monitoring and posture. PNBHFL, a leader in the construction finance, will be contributing corporate social responsibility (CSR) funds towards this project.
“We are happy to associate with PNBHFL,” says Prof. V. Ramgopal Rao, Director IIT Delhi. He further added that KAWACH, a product of IIT Delhi start-up, has already been launched to provide efficient and cost-effective mask. In its endeavour to reach out to masses and support a social cause, ETEX has partnered with ECOTATV, a social enterprise by a group of differentlyabled people, in manufacturing of KAWACH, assuring their jobs and active participation in the battle against COVID-19. “The COVID-19 pandemic has triggered an unprecedented lockdown in many geographies globally. We believe all public and private stakeholders must contribute their mite in stopping 40 its spread. As part of our societal responsibilities, PNBHFL has joined hands with IIT Delhi in ensuring we contribute to the nation’s effort in flattening the COVID-19 curve. Through this partnership, we can play a small yet meaningful role in safeguarding the well-being of our frontline warriors, who are risking their lives by putting service before self, day after day,” said Mr Neeraj Vyas, Managing Director and CEO of PNBHFL, elaborating on the initiative.
“Partnership is best initiative towards the PM’s vision – Make in India – strengthening environment for investment, employment and smart infrastructure,” said Prof. Anurag S. Rathore (IIT Delhi), Dean, Corporate Relations, IIT Delhi. Further he added, “IIT Delhi has made a concerted effort to help the country via aggressively pursuing a multitude of COVID19-related projects – from testing to therapeutics to support equipment. This partnership between IIT Delhi and PNBHFL will help us in taking these projects forward.” “Mask - Engineered Multilayer Textile Solution against COVID-19 and pollution and Gown - Laminated Knitted textile with enhanced barrier properties,” said Professor Bipin Kumar, Department of Textile and Fiber Engineering, IIT Delhi. “Along with the challenge of meeting PPE demands in the country due to the COVID-19 crisis, another threat looms ahead- the disposal of PPEs (including mask and coveralls) after one-time use. Though a non-woven layer is must for ensuring desired filtration level, the loose fibrous structure in locally available PPE makes the product disposable after one-time use. Disposing of synthetic polypropylene nonwoven PPE can result in serious environmental consequences. Finding other textile solutions that offer reusability, biodegradability, affordability and scalability for PPEs is truly the need of the hour as it serves the dual purpose of supporting healthcare workers and protecting our environment.”
HiMedia Laboratories develop Hi-PCR® Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Probe PCR Kit
Hi-PCR® Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) Probe PCR Kit is developed for the qualitative detection of nucleic acid from SARS-CoV-2 in various respiratory samples from individuals suspected of COVID-19 infection by healthcare providers.
Intended use: It is intended for use by qualified clinical laboratory personnel trained in the techniques of real-time PCR and in-vitro diagnostic procedures. The kit is recommended for sensitive and specific detection of SARS-CoV-2 in clinical samples.
Product description: The Kit includes primer/probe sets specific to detect SARSCoV-2 genomic region and internal process control. The Kit also provides synthetic positive controls for validity of the test. Positive control: This is a control reaction using a known template (target pathogen). A positive control is usually used to check that the primers have been designed properly and the PCR conditions have been set up correctly.
Internal control: This is a control sequence that should amplify in all clinical samples which indicates the presence of sufficient RNA from human RNase P gene indicating the specimen is of acceptable quality. An internal control is often used to detect the failure of amplification in cases where the target sequence is not amplified.
Mumbai-based Marico Innovation Foundation presents Innovate2Beat COVID Challenge
Marico Innovation Foundation is Mumbai-based innovation focused platform, which work closely with start-ups that are innovative and impactful. The enterprise has initiated a ‘Innovate2BeatCOVID’ challenged by calling upon medical technology entrepreneurs, corporates and innovators who can solve the med-tech challenges faced in the on-going COVID-19 crisis. This is one-of-a-kind dynamic grand challenge where focus is on specific problems statements. As the pandemic progresses, the grand challenge may expand to other items of critical need in consultation with medical experts.
COVID-19 vaccine possible by Q2 of 2022
India may get a viable COVID-19 vaccine by the second quarter of 2022, ahead of the original estimated timeline of late 2022, says Adar Poonawalla, Chief Executive Officer of Serum Institute of India (SII), the world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines by the total number of doses produced. SII had earlier predicted a Coronavirus vaccine to be commercially available around late 2022; it should be in the market by the second quarter of 2022 given the “positive feedback” received from the regulators who are expediting approvals in a bid to developing a vaccine for the disease at the earliest. SII is collaborating with Codagenix, an American biotechnology firm, for the development of these vaccine candidates and the cost of the project is pegged at `300 crore
Bharat Biotech set to develop and test vaccine for COVID-19
Bharat Biotech is getting into development and testing of a vaccine against COVID-19, called CoroFlu, as part of an international collaboration of virologists and vaccine makers.
CoroFlu is a one-drop COVID-19 nasal vaccine built on a flu vaccine “backbone” that has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in humans, in Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. CoroFlu will be built on the backbone of FluGen’s flu vaccine candidate known as M2SR. Based on an invention by UW-Madison virologists and FluGen co-founders Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Gabriele Neumann, M2SR is a self-limiting version of the influenza virus that induces an immune response against the flu. Kawaoka’s lab will insert gene sequences from SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes the disease COVID-19, into M2SR so that the new vaccine will also induce immunity against the coronavirus.
Zydus Cadila launches a fast-tracked programme to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV (COVID-19)
Zydus Cadila, an innovation-driven, global pharmaceutical company, announced that it has initiated an accelerated research programme with multiple teams in India and Europe to develop a vaccine for the novel coronavirus, 2019-nCoV (COVID-19) based on two approaches. The first approach deals with the development of a DNA vaccine against the major viral membrane protein responsible for the cell entry of the novel coronavirus, now called COVID-19. The plasmid DNA would be introduced into the host cells, where it would be translated into the viral protein and elicit a strong immune response mediated by the cellular and humoral arms of the human immune system, which plays a vital role in protection from disease as well as viral clearance. The second approach deals with the development of a live attenuated recombinant measles virus vectored vaccine against COVID-19. The recombinant measles virus (rMV) produced by reverse genetics would express codonoptimised proteins of the novel coronavirus and will induce long-term specific neutralising antibodies, which will provide protection from the infection. The group’s Vaccine Technology Centre in India, which is working on the plasmid DNA vaccine, also has wide ranging capabilities in developing and manufacturing different vaccines for unmet needs.
Bione launches India’s first COVID-19 home screening test kit
Bione has recently launched a rapid COVID-19 at-home screening test kit and has established itself as the first healthcare company in India to achieve the feat. The easy-to-use kit displays accurate results within minutes, instrumental in the timely screening of the deadly virus. The at-home screening kit is available for sale on their platform bione.in after approval from the requisite medical regulatory authorities. In a breakthrough development, the Company has devised the screening kit for coronavirus which can provide respite from the impending fear of the contagion. The simple point-of-care home screening kit renders quick results, without having to step out in the wake of lockdown. It will foster timely detection of the disease while acting as a preventive tool for others in proximity to the user, by isolating the carrier immediately. The kit is priced between `2000-3000 depending upon the global supply, to increase its affordability for the masses. Under normal circumstances, the ready-to-use kits can be received within 2-3 days of placing the order at their platform. To initiate an effective screening tool for mass screening, the organisation is also in talks to provide bulk orders for early detection.
Mahindra is taking action to fight the Coronavirus
The Mahindra Group has formulated a two-pronged strategy to manufacture much needed ventilators. Along with two large PSUs, the company is working with an existing manufacturer of high spec ventilators to help them simplify the design and scale up capacity. The group is working on an automated version of the Bag Valve Mask ventilator (commonly known as Ambubag).
Diagnostic testing for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) at Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket
Max Lab, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Saket is now approved for diagnostic testing for the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). The tests can happen only if prescribed by a qualified physician, which is a swab-based test. They have a safe and hygienic sample- collection-at-home facility by their trained technicians.
Indian Immunologicals and Australia’s Griffith Universitytie- up for COVID-19 vaccineresearch
Vaccine manufacturer Indian Immunologicals Ltd (IIL) has entered into are search collaboration agreement with Australia’s Griffith University to develop a lead vaccine candidate for coronavirus. As part of the cross-continental collaboration, scientists from IIL and the University will develop a ‘Live Attenuated SARS-CoV-2 vaccine’ or COVID-19 vaccine using the latest codon de-optimisation technology. The vaccine is expected to provide long-lasting protection with a single dose administration with an anticipated safety profile similar toother licensed vaccines for active immunization.
Infosys Foundation partners with Narayana Health Cityto open 100-bed quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients
Infosys Foundation, the philanthropic and CSR arm of Infosys and Narayana Health, one of the largest healthcare providers in the country, haveannounced the launch of a 100-room quarantine facility for COVID-19 patients, in the vicinity of Narayana Health City in Bengaluru, Karnataka. The facility, aimed at serving patients belonging to the economically weaker sections of the society, will accommodate patients, offer regular monitoring by doctors, nurses, and provide essential medication free of cost.
HUL committed towards combating COVID-19
During this challenging phase of COVID-19, Hindustan Unilever Limited stands united with India.
Donating products for better health: Hindustan Lever Limited (HUL) is supporting hospitals in Mumbai, Pune, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu and several other areas by donating Lifebuoy soaps, handwash, sanitizers and Domex floor and bathroom cleaners. It is also distributing health kits, including health and hygiene products and food items for patients, health officials and lowincome families. To ensure that the products reach low-income families, HUL is working with social organisations like the United Way and the United Nations Development Programme. Through Project Prabhat, sustainable community development initiative, it is also supporting 1,00,000 migrant labour families by donating food kits and essential hygiene products and also distributing soaps to 5,00,000 families in communities around their factory sites.
Partnerships for better infrastructure: To augment the quarantine system instituted by the Government, HUL has tied up with Apollo Hospitals, State Bank of India, Oyo, Lemon Tree and others to create isolation facilities that are equipped with medical supervision. This will help reduce the burden on hospitals while providing acute care for the patientsinneed. Collaborating with public health authorities (in Maharashtra,Uttar Pradesh and Karnataka), efforts are being made to upgrade the medical facility infrastructures in hospitals treating COVID-19 patients. HUL is also in the process of procuring personal protective equipment for the frontline medical staff at these hospitals. Together with the local administration in Haridwar, HUL has helped set up a 30-bed isolation facility in a record time of three days to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
Mumbai-based pharmaceuticals Roche India ensuring supply chain business continuity amidst the coronavirus pandemic
Roche India pledged to remain committed to its patients as strongly as ever in the prevailing situation due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. These are indeed unique times, thus their steps to tackle COVID-19 situation has multiple aspects to ensure that patients arenot impacted.Taking urgent steps to minimise disruption in the supply of the medicines across the country, several steps have been taken to continue the battle against health care challenges.
Chennai-based Trivitron Health care provides COVID-19 testing solutions
Trivitron Health care reaffirmsits commitment towards providing testing solutions for Novel Coronavirus 2019-nCoV.Trivitron providesa range of products for testing of COVID-19 that includes COVID-19 confirmation Assay Real Time RT-PCR Kit, Singleplex & Multiplex Real Time RT-PCR Kit, RNA Extraction Kit, and Rapid TestKits.
SRL Diagnostics gets approval for COVID-19 testing by ICMR
SRL gets approval for COVID-19 testing by ICMR, Government of India, for its two facilities situated at Goregaon West, Mumbai and Gurugram, Haryana. Backed by the state-of-art technology and medical acumen, SRL has been approved for collection of samples, testing and diagnosis of COVID-19 suspects. The collection of samples can happen only if it has been prescribed by a qualified physician.
The race for a cure for COVID-19
In TCS’ Innovation Lab in Hyderabad, India, a team of TCS scientists have identified 31 molecular compounds that hold promise towards finding a cure for COVID-19. The effort is part of the many worldwide mission-critical activities that TCS is engaged in, working with private enterprise and governmental groups. It represents a crucial breakthrough supporting the larger worldwide endeavour towards combating thecoronavirus.
Reliance Industries further Steps Up its Support to India’s Fight Against Coronavirus
Reliance Industries Limited has deployed the combined strengths of Reliance Foundation, Reliance Retail, Reliance Jio, Reliance Life Sciences, Reliance Industries, and all the 6,00,000 members of the Reliance Family on this action plan against COVID-19.
Reliance Foundation and RIL Hospitals: SirH. N.Reliance Foundation Hospital in collaboration with the Brihan mumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), has set up a dedicated 100 bedded centre at Seven Hills Hospital, Mumbai for patients who test positive for COVID-19. This first-of-its-kind-in-India centre is fully funded by Reliance Foundation and includes a negative pressure room that helps in preventing cross-contamination and helps control infection. All bed sare equipped with the required infrastructure, biomedical equipment such as ventilators, pacemakers, dialysis machine and patient monitoring devices.
Masks and Personnel Protective Suits for Health-workers: RIL is enhancing its production capacities to produce 100,000 face-masks per day and a large number of personal protective equipment (PPE), such as suits and garments, for the nation’s health workers to equip them further to fight the coronavirus challenge.
Logix Smart™ COVID-19 Test Kit developed by Cosara Diadnostics, Ahmedabad
Ahemdabad based private sector enterprise, Cosara Diagnostics has developed and manufactured Logix Smart™ Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Test kit. This is an in vitro diagnostic test that uses patented CoPrimer™ technology for the qualitative detection of the RNA from SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus (COVID-19). The test operates using a real-time RT-PCR test technique intended for the in vitro qualitative detection of nucleic acid from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus2 (SARS-CoV-2) in lower respiratory samples (e.g. bronchoalveolar lavage, sputum, tracheal aspirate), and upper respiratory samples (e.g. nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swabs) from individuals suspected of having COVID-19 by their healthcare provider. Results are for the identification of SARS-CoV-2 RNA during the acute phase of infection. The Logix Smart Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) is intended for use by qualified and trained clinical laboratory personnel specifically instructed and trained in the techniques of real-time PCR and invitro diagnostic procedures. The test kit has been tested with the QIAamp® Viral RNA Mini Extraction Kit (Qiagen) on the CoDx Box thermocycler (Bio Molecular Systems).
The complete package for the diagnosis of COVID - 19 from EUROIMMUN
Chennai based private sector enterprise, CPC Diagnostics Pvt. Ltd., has developed the Anti- SARS-CoV-2 ELISAs for IgG and IgA. The diagnostic test has higher sensitivity (up to 100%) and specificity (up to 97.5%).
Pune Face Shield Action Group has delivered 12900+ face shields
Pune Face Shield Action Group has provided 12900+ face shields so far. Efforts to scale up production by replacing rate-limiting steps (esp. laser cutting), efforts to identify new sources for supply, efforts to raise funds, efforts to find others who can help manufacture these Face Shields in larger quantities, efforts to find people in other cities who can reproduce the model in their cities/areas — success in Aurangabad, Nanded so far.
Mylab partners with Serum Institute India's CEO Adar Poonawalla and Abhijit Pawar, Chairman AP Globale to scale- up production of the COVID-19 test kit
Mylab Discovery Solutions has developed the first COVID-19 rapid testing kit in India. This testing kit has been approved by the Indian Food and Drug Administration, the Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO), and the ICMR. This kit can give test results within 2.5 hours. After joining hands with Serum Institute of India and AP Globale, the test capacity of Mylab has increased from 1.5 lakh tests a week to 20 lakh (2 million) tests a week.
DST funded company to scale up device to enrich oxygen supply in air for the treatment of COVID-19 patients
Genrich Membranes, a spin-off company, based on proprietary technology licensed from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune is being funded by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) to scale up membrane oxygenator equipment (MOE) that it has developed to treat COVID-19 patients. Based on innovative, indigenous hollow-fiber membrane technology, the MOE enriches oxygen in the air up to 35% under pressure (4-7 bar, using oilfree compressor). The equipment consists of membrane cartridge, oil-free compressor, output flowmeter, humidifier bottle, nasal-cannula, and tubing & fittings. The compressed, filtered air from the compressor is fed to the membrane cartridge, which selectively permeates oxygen over nitrogen offering oxygen-enriched air as the product at the ambient pressure. The membrane cartridge capable of distinguishing oxygen and nitrogen restricts the passage of viruses, bacteria, and particulate matter. The product air is of medical grade. The device is safe, does not require trained manpower for its operation, needs minimum maintenance, is portable, compact, and with plug-and-play facility provides on-site, quick-start oxygen-enriched air.