On Wednesday, India’s leading drug maker, Cipla Limited, announced that it had signed a licensing agreement with the Belgium-based firm, Multi G, to distribute their coronavirus Rapid Antibody test (RAT) kit, across most emerging markets and Europe. The agreement is a part of Mumbai-based Cipla’s efforts to enhance global access to life- saving treatments and diagnostic infrastructure for patients in need.
“Cipla’s expansive reach, network and partnerships with public health authorities as well as private institutions will help in ensuring the seamless access of these kits across 25+ markets in Asia, Middle-East and North Africa, Latin America, EU and Australia,” read a statement issued by the drug firm.
Cipla’s antibody test kit was the earliest to declare CE-compliance and is currently awaiting ICH country regulators’ approval. It has been commercialised in at least 20 countries already, with sensitivity and specificity- the ability to detect true negatives and true positive results- exceeding 92%.
With this agreement, Cipla will be responsible for distributing the Covid-19 rapid antibody kit that will be manufactured by Multi-G, and marketed under the brand name Covi-G. The kit can detect both IgM and IgG antibodies, using a single-prick blood test and gives results within 10 minutes.
Rapid antibody test kits, which are widely deployed as an epidemiological tool for mass screening, can also be used to detect patients who have had a suspected asymptomatic or mild infection in the past, identify potential plasma donors and possibly prioritise susceptible populations for vaccines.
This launch was in addition to Cipla’s launch of ELIFAST (ELISA) diagnostic kits for Covid-19 last week. For ELIFAST test kit, which detects SARS CoV-2-IgG antibody, the company had partnered with KARWA under technology transfer from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).