Thiruvananthapuram: HLL Lifecare Limited, a mini-Ratna public sector undertaking headquartered here, is soon coming out with cheap and affordable duplex test kit for `chikungunya` and `dengue` fever tests.
The new multiplex molecular diagnostic kit, based on PCR (polymerase chain reaction), has been developed by HLL in collaboration with the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, also based here. Both `chikungunya` and `dengue` are viruses carried by mosquitoes to the humans.
"Making public healthcare affordable has always been our motto. This kit comes as the latest offering from our portfolio to ease the burden of the common man," said HLL chairman and managing director M. Ayyappan.
The HLL founded in 1966, the leading manufacturer of condoms, is strong-footed in the diagnostic business with its Hindlabs that provide a complete range of path lab services.
"Looking to tap the growing opportunities in the sector and making a solid market intervention to make tests of communicable diseases accessible and affordable, we will extend the facility for other viral platforms as well," Ayyappan added.
HLL has a factory located at Manesar in Haryana, exclusively catering to the manufacturing of in-vitro diagnostic test kits. This unit had started with manufacture of pregnancy test kits and is currently into production of kits for dengue and malaria, among other infectious diseases.
The decision by HLL to enter this segment comes after `chikungunya` continues to resurface in the country every year, especially during the monsoon season. In 2010, as many as 48,176 clinically suspected cases were reported from 18 states/union territories (135 districts), according to the figures from the Planning Commission.
Likewise, `dengue` is endemic to 31 states and in 2010 a total of 28,292 cases and 110 deaths were reported from 403 districts, recording the highest number in the last two decades.