Startups Rescue Farmers From Misery

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Bangalore: The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB) today said that it has developed a kit that can diagnose a deadly contagious disease affecting pigs.



Field trials of the blood-based on-field diagnostic kit for Classical Swine Flu are nearly complete and the commercial product is expected to be launched in the next three months, said Prof M Radhakrishna Pillai, Director, Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB).



"Tens of thousands of small and marginal farmers in parts of the North and Northeast are heavily dependent on pig farming for their livelihood. Classical Swine Flu can wipe out entire herds and have a crippling impact on these farmers," Pillai said.



He said the kit would come for an affordable price for farmers to easily check for infection in animals and help control the spread of the disease.



Developed in partnership with biotechnology startup Ubio, the diagnostic kit was one of the first products lined up for commercialisation since the Thiruvananthapuram-based autonomous RGCB took over the management of KINFRA Biotech Park in Kalamassery, Kochi, last month, a release said today.



Designed as an incubator for biotechnology start-ups to encourage more industry-academia tie-ups, Biotech Park will be managed for the next five years by RGCB which aims to help nurture at least 15 startup companies at the facility.



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Source: PTI
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