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Now, Get Your Health Results in 8 Hours

Patients can heave a sigh of relief. A new diagnostic test kit can now detect symptoms of critical infections very quickly -- in seven to eight hours compared to the average 72 hours and more it takes in conventional tests, leading to quicker diagnosis and treatment of the infection.

The kit will reduce exorbitant testing charges and extended hospital stay costs for patients. The kit has been invented by Bangalore-based molecular diagnostics company, XCyton, with Rs 6-crore assistance from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research and private investors, including Biocon chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw.

The invention known as Syndrome Evaluation System (SES) has been described by American-based investors as the fastest, simplest, elegant and most cost-effective testing kit or tool in the world that can in just one test detect multiple bugs/organisms at work in critical infections.

"There are many diagnostic kits that do the same thing across the world but we haven't yet come across one that does it as rapidly and inexpensively as this kit does. We come from the Massachussets area where a lot of inventions do happen and we have come to this inference based on substantial research," said Ketan Patel of Fidelity, which has invested $ 4.5 million in product development and commercialization.

What Infections

The invention is targeted at speedier treatment of brain-related infections, sepsis, eye infections, cancer-related ailments, lung, joint, spine-related infections among others, which means people afflicted with these infections can expect faster test results, therapy and treatment now.

Scientist BV Ravi Kumar, XCyton founder and CMD, told TOI, "The new testing tool will identify the work of multiple organisms - bacteria, virus, fungi and parasites - in just one sample - that were causing a particular infection."

"Multiple tests to detect each of these organisms are no longer necessary. The test kit will show up all these different organisms at work in one test within seven to eight hours, as compared to the 3-7 days' time conventional tests take. One test in place of multiple tests will now reduce patients' bills," Kumar explained.

Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, CMD, Biocon who has invested in her private capacity said: "I can relate to XCyton the very same way I built Biocon. Success for a biotech enterprise is about going from failure to failure without giving up. To get the correct outcomes, it all starts with correct diagnostics. We are poor at diagnosis and rush to treat patients. We use antibiotics as one-size-fits-all approach. Very often it doesn't work and has disastrous effects. Everyone thinks it's easy to build a company in biotech, because they often confuse it with IT. Biotech has huge challenges. The whole basis of discovering things, and validating those findings and translating them into commercial success is a much-harder journey. There are regulatory and scientific challenges. XCyton represents the new innovative India."

Shaw added that the biotech sector did not support the compulsory licensing recently accorded to Indian company for a cancer drug. "We felt this was not the cancer drug that needed compulsory licensing. It was only benefiting a minority segment, and by doing this, we are giving the wrong signals. We are frivolously giving away compulsory licensing. We are determined to innovate in biotech sector."

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