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Bigtec & Tulip form ‘Molbio Diagnostics’ under JV pact for production of TrueLab

Nandita Vijay, Bengaluru
Tuesday, July 3, 2012, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

Bigtec Private Ltd has entered into a 50:50 joint venture with Tulip Diagnostics, Goa to form a new company ‘Molbio Diagnostics’. Under the JV, Tulip will focus on the manufacture and market of ‘TrueLab’ based on the research technology provided by Bigtec.

The medical diagnostic platform TrueLab is already under production by Molbio Diagnostics and is expected to hit the market before the end of the year. The real time micro PCR is a bench top, battery operated equipment to detect multiple infectious diseases.

Bigtec has already developed a range of disease detection chips for malaria, dengue, chikungunya, H1N1, typhoid and hepatitis B which have been successfully validated at various hospitals in the country. Now it is testing the chip for TB detection which will provide results much faster than smear microscopy and cell culture. The advanced nucleic acid test has so far proven to be sensitive and provides results within 45 minutes to one hour compared to the conventional tests.

TrueLab leverages the biological micro-electromechanical systems (Bio-MEMS) technology which is the future of medicine. “We had the expertise in developing the product and now have teamed-up with Tulip which has the inherent strengths to manufacture and market the product. Forming Molbio is the start of a relationship with Tulip in an IP driven entity, Chandrasekhar B Nair, director, Bigtec told Pharmabiz.

The state-of-the-art Bigtec laboratory in Bengaluru is now focusing on developing diagnostics platforms. “We would be open for similar arrangement to manufacture and distribution. In fact the strategy unveils an  India-India technology story that depicts a sign of maturity for diagnostic development in India, he added.

In 2009, during the H1N1 epidemic, Bigtec was ready with a novel Micro Thermal Cycler Diagnostic Platform (MTCDP) which was proposed to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare for detection and surveillance of the deadly flu. On the improvised version of the MTCDP platform, the company  went on the develop TrueLab which now has high capability to detect fungal, parasite, bacterial and viral infections.

Confident on the technology, which provides faster test reports and affordability, Bigtec views that TrueLab will open up significant opportunities not just in India but pockets of US, Europe apart from countries in Asia and Africa.

Considerable support was extended under the New Millennium Indian Technology Leadership Initiative (NMTTLI), Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and the Biotechnology Industry Partnership Programme (BIPP) to validate the TrueLab. “In some measure it was the success of all these efforts because it is not an easy task to come out with a device,” stated the Bigtec director adding that it was an exciting time in biotechnology where diagnostics devices are leading to fruition faster. There are promising research focused entrepreneurs in the country who are creating novel technologies and could look to bring it to market through collaborations.  With the funding system evolving now, this is a positive period of science.


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