APS Lifetech: Bringing Inspiration & Innovation To Create A Better World

Dr Paritosh Shekhar,FounderAs of September 2020, India has claimed the unwanted top spot for the highest number of daily jumps in the COVID-19 cases, reporting more than 90000 cases per day. Although India's coronavirus-related death rate is lower than other countries, the country has also taken a spot among the nations, where the front-line healthcare workers account for a significant portion of all the COVID-19 positivity diagnoses. Especially, the infection rate is alarmingly high among the patient-facing essential workers like ward boys, who are at the bottom of the hospital hierarchy. Despite having no professional medical training, they take care of everything from collecting samples, transporting infectious materials and serving food for the patients.

Tasked to wear the painful protective equipment for more than ten hours, these ward boys accidentally expose themselves to the contagious materials and inadvertently spread the infection at the hospital. Taking note of this scenario has what inspired APS Lifetech, a rapidly-growing biotech company, to innovate India's first-of-its-kind Viral Transport Media with virus inactivator (VLTM - also called as MTM). This media lyses the virus cells making it ineffective once the sample is taken from the oropharyngeal (mouth) and nasopharyngeal (nose) cavities, leaving just the non-infectious genetic material (RNA) behind to conduct the RT-PCR test; thereby protecting the people handling the sample from infections.

The best part is that APS Lifetech has also managed to slice down the VTM device's cost from Rs.200 to a mere Rs.50 and likewise the total cost of RT-PCR test from Rs.5500 to just Rs.500 for all diagnostic labs, thus making the test much more affordable for people of all social stratum. "In days to come, we aim to bring down the price by another 30 percent as we ramp up our manufacturing capabilities," avows Dr Paritosh Shekhar, Founder, APS Lifetech. No wonder, it is one of the first companies to get ICMR and NIV approval for its COVID range of products.

Extensive Range Of Offerings
APS Lifetech has earned a stellar reputation for manufacturing such cost-effective kits and reagents for Molecular Biology & Molecular Diagnosis without compromising quality by leveraging path-breaking innovations. However, the most notable benefit its clients derive from the company is its powerful product-service package, which facilitates clients to unlock the full potential of its products as per their precise needs. This sounds even more impressive considering that the company has an extensive portfolio encompassing myriad of products and services across the segments of healthcare, agriculture, Genomics, Food Safety, Infertility, molecular diagnostics, nanotechnology, cell biology, forensic science and biorobotics, with multiple patents to speak for its ingenuity.

"We have highly-customizable cutting-edge solutions in all these verticals. For instance, taking molecular diagnostics to the next level, we can pinpoint gene-based probable diseases through our Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) panel services. This alerts the patients to alter their lifestyle and habits in order to avoid the disease," remarks Dr. Paritosh, who is also member of the Aatmanirbar Bharat Covid19 Task Force for India. Renowned for its impeccable NGS, Peptide synthesis and DNA sequencing services, the company offers a wide spectrum of services such as extra chromosomal DNA, SSCP analysis, microbial identification, DNA fingerprinting, molecular marker development, real-time PCR based services, fermentation technology, Bioconsulting, antibody service, veterinary services, analytical services among others.

APS Lifetech has cutting-edge R&D and manufacturing facilities powered by automated systems to produce high-quality molecular biology products & clinical reagents. Possessing more than 20 certifications including ISO 9001:2008, CE, ISO-13485 and WHO-GMP, APS Lifetech manufactures an extensive range of products for molecular biology (plasmid & bacterial extraction, genomic DNA extraction, RNA extraction, tissue & blood extraction, protein & DNA ladders and many more), molecular diagnostics (various plant & animal disease detection kits), forensic science (X & Y chromosome markers, automated RNA & DNA section machines and so on), Infertility (IUI devices and many testing products), diverse PCR and RT-PCR consumables and ELISA for humans & rats to name a few. Recently the company has also attained ad hoc IVD manufacturing license and will get a CDSCO & DGCI approval soon.

Rising To The Occasion
When the world was hit by the pandemic, APS Lifetech was determined to contribute to the development of a cost-effective testing kit leveraging the innovative spirit of its proficient team. To perform a cent-percent accurate COVID-19 test, one needs Viral Transport Media, RNA extraction and Real Time PCR kit. While the antibody and antigen based rapid tests are notorious for giving out
false reports, ELISA-based tests are also not very accurate. Since the RT-PCR is not a simple plug-and-play device that can be done with a drop of blood, to conduct these tests an organization must have well-trained experts as well as huge infrastructure with expensive instruments and certified labs. "Rather than putting together a device on an ad hoc basis by importing for the temporary world, we decided to build high-performing RT-PCR kits and devices at a nominal price, which can be useful in the future as well. We are also working with several other viral infection panels for future," remarks Dr. Paritosh, who possesses a doctorate degree in Genetics.

APS Lifetech obtained all the necessary approvals and demonstrated the development of a high-quality Automated RNA extraction Machine (AKKI-32) which can extract 32 samples in 22 minutes. Interestingly, the company has brought down the price of RNA extraction of a single sample from Rs.400 to a mere Rs.100. How? The manual RNA extraction kits cannot handle high volume of samples, whereas the automated magnetic RNA extraction device is capable of dealing with around 800 samples per hour. However, all of these automated machines were imported from big brands, hence they are very expensive, have their own gears and their systems were closed. APS Lifetech optimized its kits for all of these machines by writing programs for all the systems, thereby optimizing the price factor as well. To serve better and facilitate more COVID tests, APS Lifetech has planned to open a chain of molecular diagnostic labs with the brand name X-Gene Molecular diagnostics in five cities across India.

When the world was hit by the pandemic, APS Lifetech was determined to contribute to the development of a cost-effective testing kit leveraging the innovative spirit of its proficient team

The Success Saga
Having earned a long list of credentials following his name from all around the globe in the biotech as well as management streams, Dr. Paritosh further garnered abundant expertise by working at various MNCs. In 2011, he made his entrepreneurial debut by partnering with Shivani Scientific, a leading IVF biomedical equipment manufacturer. In 2012, he parallelly launched APS Lifetech as a Biological service provider specializing in Genomics and DNA Sequencing. As the company made its mark in the industry with its quality offerings within a short span of time, Dr. Paritosh decided to venture into product development in 2014 in order to expand APS Lifetech's customer reach.

Having equipped the lab with cutting-edge machinery and attained all the required certifications, the company kickstarted its new avatar by manufacturing molecular biology extraction equipment. Gradually, APS Lifetech broadened its manufacturing activities to produce various intricate instrumentations in the sectors of IVF & Research Lab products, molecular diagnostics, nanotechnology, NGS and agriculture among others.

Tremendous credit to its quality consciousness, the company became a preferred vendor for top-notch clients from all over the world including AIIMS, Thyrocare, CSIR, IIT, NCBS, ICMR, NCCS, ICAR, Nottingham University, Cleveland University and Korea University to name a few. Besides spreading its wings across India, the company also established its offices in the far-flung corners of the world including London, Taiwan, Nepal, Sudan, Nigeria, Malaysia and recently Delaware (U.S).

Moving Up The Evolution Cycle
Besides its effective scientific team, APS Lifetech also boasts of a lean and mean sales team that demonstrates outstanding achievements. On top of these, it has established distributors all over India and the world covering more than 30 countries, which enabled the company to experience a healthy revenue growth of 20-23 percent since its inception. Owing to its COVID-related innovations, APS Lifetech is currently growing at a vigorous pace, surpassing 100 percent growth.

Further moving up the evolution cycle, APS Lifetech aspires to cement its position as an Indian multinational and is keenly exploring new opportunities out of India. Being on verge of obtaining CDSCO license, the company is all set to expand its export activities as well. Kickstarted its journey with the vision of bringing inspiration and innovation to every researcher and creating a better life for people around the globe, APS Lifetech is well on its way to reach the wider audience that it very much deserves.

Dr. Paritosh Shekhar, Founder
Having years of experience in MNCs like Millipore, Becton Dickenson and thermo fisher packed up with a PG degree in biotechnology, PHD in genetics (from Germany) and advanced PGD/PGS from Embryotools (Spain) along with a certification in infertility from American embryology institute gives dr. Paritosh a clear understanding of the technical aspects of aps Lifetech. Whereas, chiseling his management prowess by earning his MBA, certification in advanced strategic management degree (IIM Kolkata) and six sigma black belt certification (SSIM - U.S), helps dr. Paritosh to take aps Lifetech to newer heights.

Next generation sequencing, peptide synthesis and sequencing, animal house & custom antibodies solution, food safety testing, microarray services, environmental & bio-analytical services to name a few

• Molecular Biology: Bacterial Culture, Gel & PCR Clean Up, Tissue & Blood Kits, RNA Purification Kits, Food DNA Kits, Viral Nucleic Acid, Plants Research Kits, DNA Related Products, Protein Products, PCR/RT-PCR Products, PCR Cloning & Ligation, Transilluminator And Disinfectant
• Bio-Process: Bio-Reactor, Bioclean, Ultra-Water Purifier
• Agriculture: Bio-Fertilizers, Pesticide Removal, Wireless Agri-Pump, Hi-Tech Drones, Soil Forecaster
• Antibodies & Elisa
• Molecular Diagnostics• IVF
• Plant Research
• Forensics
• Nanotechnology
• Food Safety
• Bio-Robotics

• Economic Times Entrepreneurs Award ­ 2018
• Whos Who Award From U.S
• Top 20 Biotechnology Company Awards ­ 2018
• Top 30 Innovative Companies Awards ­ 2019
• Biospectrum Top 20 Biosupplier

Aps Lifetech In Spotlight
• One Of The First Companies To Attain ICMR And NIV Approval For Its Covid Range Of Products
• Manufacturing Cost-Effective Kits And Reagents For Molecular Biology & Molecular Diagnosis Without Compromising Quality By Leveraging Path-Breaking Innovations
• Offering Its Powerful Product-Service Package, Which Facilitates Clients To Unlock The Full Potential Of Its Products As Per Their Precise Needs
• Featured In Many Other Interviews