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Cipla enters pact with Belgium-based Multi-G to distribute 10-minute COVID-19 antibody test kit

Cipla will be selling the RAT kits under brand name Covi-G, which will detect both IgM and IgG antibodies, using a single-prick blood test. The kit gives results within 10 minutes.

November 18, 2020 / 07:09 PM IST

Drugmaker Cipla on November 18 said it has signed a licensing agreement with a Belgium-based Multi G for the distribution of their coronavirus rapid antibody test (RAT) kit, across most emerging markets and Europe.

As part of this agreement, Cipla will be responsible for the distribution of the Covid-19 rapid antibody kit that will be manufactured by MultiG.

Cipla will be selling the RAT kits under brand name Covi-G, which will detect both IgM and IgG antibodies, using a single-prick blood test. The kit gives results within 10 minutes.

Rapid antibody test kits are widely deployed as an epidemiological tool for mass screening, this point of care test 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 licencing agreement is part of Mumbai-based Cipla’s efforts to enhance global access to life- saving treatments and diagnostic infrastructure for patients in need.


COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Cipla said this test kit was among the earliest antibody kits to declare CE-compliance (European approval).

The RAT kits have been commercialised in over 20 countries already, with sensitivity and specificity exceeding 92 percent, Cipla said.

This launch was in addition to Cipla's launch of ELIFAST (ELISA) diagnostic kits for Covid-19 last week. For this test kit, the company has partnered with KARWA under technology transfer from the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).  This test kit will detect SARS CoV-2-IgG antibody.
Viswanath Pilla is a business journalist with 14 years of reporting experience. Based in Mumbai, Pilla covers pharma, healthcare and infrastructure sectors for Moneycontrol.
first published: Nov 18, 2020 11:09 am

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