Coronavirus testing: After launching the country’s first Covid-19 RT-PCR tests and shipping out two million units till date, Pune-based molecular diagnostics company Mylab Discovery Solutions on Wednesday launched a fully-automated robotic machine that significantly compresses time, reduces manpower and money required to carry out Covid tests.
The machine replace an 800 sq ft area with a 4×3 box, eliminates three to four technicians required right now, and reduces manual errors and wastage of expensive reagents.
The ‘Compact XL – Lab in a Box’ automates lab operations from sample to RT-PCR-ready system for molecular diagnostics, which the company says could be the first-of-its-kind in the world and is an entirely ‘made in India’ product. It can handle 32 samples per run. Each machine can handle 400 samples a day, making scaling up of testing easier.
It is a cartridge-based machine and can test multiple samples concurrently and for a wide range of RNA/DNA-based tests. Apart from the Covid-19 RT-PCR tests, it will also test of HIV, TB, cancer markers, genetic diseases, chikungunya and HPV. The machine can take a variety of sample types such as plasma, tissue, sputum and swab. Mylab is in the process of patenting this product.
Mylab chairman and co-founder Shailendra Kawade said his company wanted to take molecular testing to the masses and make it more affordable and accessible. “Two constraints were trained manpower and complexity which we have overcome with this automated solution,” he said.
The machine was unveiled by Serum Institute of India founder and chairman Cyrus Poonawalla. At the launch, Poonawalla said they have invested Rs 100 crore in Mylab and held a stake of under 50%, which could go up further. “Mylab was a good strategic fit. Testing more was the way to deal with the Covid-19 fight,” Poonawalla said, adding that India was not testing enough at the moment.