Both GBRC and Neuberg will develop COVID-19 recombinant vaccine and diagnostics
Neuberg Supratech Reference Laboratory, Ahmedabad, a unit of Neuberg Diagnostics (a StartUp in the PathLab chain segment), announced the signing of an MoU with GBRC (Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre), a Gujarat government arm, for developing COVID-19 recombinant vaccine and diagnostics.
The MoU was signed in the presence of the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Vijay Rupani.
Commenting on the development, D Sandip Shah, Executive Director, Neuberg Diagnostics and Director, Neuberg Supratech Reference Lab, Ahmedabad said, “Our (Neuberg Supratech Reference Lab, Ahmedabad) competence to develop a COVID-19 recombinant vaccine and diagnostics can be gauged from the fact that we are the largest diagnostics service provider in the state with presence in almost every major city. With 20 labs and 100-plus collection centres, we have the distinction of being the only CAP and NABL accredited Genomics Center of Excellence in Ahmedabad. The Neuberg Center for Genomic Medicine (NCGM) based out of Ahmedabad is the only private lab in the country to house the most powerful sequencer, NOVASEQ 6000, which offers high-throughput sequencing across a broad range of applications.”
As part of the five years agreement (effective May 1, 2020), Neuberg Supratech will work on two projects for the Government of Gujarat.
The first project is for COVID-19 vaccine development, wherein Neuberg Supratech will look for immune markers for the COVID-19 positive patients. The company plans to use several of its in-house high throughput sequencing machines for this project.
The second project involves developing cost effective post viral extraction procedures. Currently the spend is around Rs 3,500 for consumables for RT-PCR testing. Neuberg Supratech aims to bring the cost down to below INR 1,000. For this, Neuberg Supratech will optimise the RT-PCR testing consumables and procedures that are presently being used. This will also increase the testing capacity by two to three times and even the turnaround times will be brought down to within two hours.
“This MoU is indeed an honour for Neuberg. We have been part of the fight against COVID-19 ever since it was declared a global emergency by the World Health Organisation. The significant role that pathology and medicine play in healing is now at a high. The need of the hour is to challenge the limits of conventional diagnostics and medicine with path-breaking techniques and procedures that allow the diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19 with greater speed and precision. Towards this endeavour, Neuberg is putting its best forward in assisting the Central Government and various state governments in combating the virus,” says Aishwarya Vasudevan, Group COO, Neuberg Diagnostics.
In March 2020, Neuberg Supratech commenced COVID-19 testing post approvals from both ICMR and the Government of Gujarat. The testings are fully compliant to the guidelines set by ICMR, Government of Gujarat and other competent government agencies.