Thai biotech startup Zenostic has successfully developed detection kits for Covid-19 with some 50,000 sets are getting ready for active case finding.
The rapid detection kits of novel Coronavirus (Covid-19) by Colorimetric Reverse Transcription-Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) is the joint-development research project of Thai biotech startup Zenostic Co. Ltd. and Faculty of Science, Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital Mahidol University, and Department of Medical Sciences, Public Health Ministry.
The research project was allocated some 12.9 million baht for the first phase of development of the rapid detection kits of Covid-19 by Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital, Ramathibodi Foundation, Government Pharmaceutical Organization, National Council for Higher Education Policy, Science, Research and Innovation. The project was also allocated 20 million baht for the second phase of test kits in extension areas.
Prototype of the test kits was successfully done in February this year and have been improved for higher efficiency. Some 3,000 samples have been really tested at Faculty of Medicine Ramathibodi Hospital and Department of Medical Sciences.
Comparing to quantitative reverse transcription PCR (qRT-PCR) which is the standard detection of Covid-19, the RT-LAMP technique allows for faster and cheaper field based testing at point-of-risk and a rapid screening diagnostic test could be completed in less than 1 hour.
The RT-LAMP test kits could be used for monitoring of exposed individuals or potentially aid with screening efforts nationwide.At present the detection kits have been really used in Bang Lamung district, Chon Bori for active search of the Covid-19 patients.
The company plans to present some 20,000 Covid-19 test kits to the government at the first phase and additional 30,000 kits at the second phase for active case finding.