Islamabad – In a major breakthrough vis-à-vis indigenous development of diagnostic kits for the detection of COVID-19, National University of Sciences & Technology (NUST) has received approval from the Drug Regulatory Authority of Pakistan (DRAP) over the successful lab trials of N-CovKit – a Coronavirus Testing Kit developed by NUST for the diagnosis of COVID-19.
In his Tweet made on June 12, 2020, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Federal Minister for Science & Technology, also confirmed the approval of NUST-made kits by DRAP, adding, “this will bring significant cost reduction of COVID tests,” in the country and will “save huge import bill.” He also extended his felicitations to NUST leadership and both scientists, saying that they had made the country proud by their outstanding contribution to fight the pandemic through developing these testing kits.
NUST has successfully performed lab trials of N-CovKit on as many as 330 blinded samples. These indigenously established assays are robust, sensitive to the target, and would soon be available at a lower price as compared to imported ones. The team comprises Associate Professor Dr Aneela Javed and Assistant Professor Dr Ali Zohaib from NUST Atta-ur-Rahman School of Applied Biosciences (ASAB), who have been working on the establishment of these assays for diagnosis of the pandemic that has hit the country and the world at large in biblical proportions.
The kits will soon be mass produced by a selected leading pharmaceutical company, as soon as the company is granted DRAP approval for commercial production.