– Can Detect COVID In Under An Hour! –
On 19th September, 2020, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) gave approval for the commercial launch of India’s first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) Coronavirus test called ‘Feluda’, developed by the Tata Group and CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology). ‘Feluda’ has a turnaround time of around an hour as compared with the RT-PCR test that requires over a day.
Named after Satyajit Ray’s fictional detective, ‘Feluda’, India’s new test to detect COVID-19 is said to have a quicker turnaround time than the RT-PCR test, which is the gold standard. The Feluda test matches the accuracy levels of the RT-PCR test in detecting SARS-CoV-2, while yielding faster results with less costly equipment and greater ease, according to the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). The test was developed by a research team led by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti of CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology) and Tata Group. The Tata Group will soon launch the diagnostic test kit.
As per the release issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology, this test uses an indigenously developed, cutting-edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of the virus and meets high-quality benchmarks with 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus. It added that the launch marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community, moving from research and development to a high-accuracy, scalable and reliable test in less than 100 days.
Commenting on the development, Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO, TATA Medical and Diagnostics Ltd., said, “The approval for the Tata CRISPR test for COVID-19 will give a boost to the country’s efforts in fighting the global pandemic. The commercialisation of Tata CRISPR test reflects the tremendous R&D talent in the country which can collaborate to transform India’s contributions to the global healthcare and scientific research world.”
As per the release, The Tata Group has worked closely with CSIR-IGIB and ICMR to create a high-quality test that will help the nation ramp up Covid-19 testing quickly and economically, with a ‘Made in India’ product that is safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible.