Genes2Me, based in Gurugram, India, announced the development of an RT-PCR testing kit to detect monkeypox virus, which reportedly provides results in just 50 minutes.
Monkeypox symptoms include a rash, fever, exhaustion, muscle aches, vomiting, and chills. Most people recover on their own after a few weeks.
According to World Health Organization data, 99 percent of monkeypox cases were in men, with the majority occurring in men who had sex with men. The disease was spreading through defined sexual networks of gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men, according to officials.
The world’s largest manufacturer of vaccines is a private company located in Pune called the Serum Institute of India (SII). Now Gurugram-based Genes2Me in India announced that they have developed a RT-PCR testing kit to detect monkeypox virus, which reportedly provides results in just 50 minutes. This kit is available in both standard and Point-of-Care (PoC) formats for use with any commonly available RT-PCR instrument.
The Proof of Concept solution can be used for screening at a variety of locations, including hospitals, airports, diagnostic labs, and health camps.
“Scientists from Genes2Me have been able to develop POX-Q Multiplexed RT-PCR kit for the detection of monkeypox virus along with differentiation from Varicella Zoster Virus (Chicken Pox) in a single tube multiplex reaction format,” the company said in a statement.
Genes2Me is one of the first Indian companies to make this test kit available. It is currently only available for research use and is based on the gold standard Taqman chemistry-based RT PCR method.
The kit is awaiting approval from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and will not be available in the market until it is.
Dry swabs and swabs placed in VTM can both be used to detect the monkeypox virus. In addition, the company claims to be the first to introduce RT-Direct as the first made-in-India Covid-19 extraction free RT-PCR Kit.
The WHO declared monkeypox a “public health emergency of international concern” last week.
“This unprecedented time underscores the importance of diagnostic assays in health security preparedness and readiness. We wanted to be prepared ahead of time for this virus,” said Genes2Me CEO and founder Neeraj Gupta. He added, “We have the capacity to manufacture 5 million test kits in a week. However, it can be scaled up to 2 million tests in a day with the added demand.”
Over the last seven months, more than 16,000 cases of the rare infection have been reported in 68 countries worldwide, with five people succumbing to the virus. So far, India has reported four cases of monkeypox, three of which have been identified in Kerala and one in Delhi.