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Tata CRISPR Covid-19 test gets regulatory approval for commercial use

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on September 20, 2020 Published on September 20, 2020

The test is safe, reliable, affordable and is a ‘Made in India’ product

The Tata CRISPR test, powered by CSIR-IGIB FELUDA, has received regulatory approvals from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial launch, meeting the quality benchmarks with 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus, a note from the Tata Group said.

This test uses an indigenously developed CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, it added.

“The Tata CRISPR test is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing Covid-19. This marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community, moving from R&D (research and development) to a high-accuracy, scalable and reliable test in less than 100 days,” the note said, adding that the Tata CRISPR test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests, with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment, and better ease of use.

Besides, it added, CRISPR is a futuristic technology that can also be configured for detection of multiple other pathogens in the future. The effort is the result of a scientific community-industry collaboration. The Tata Group has worked with CSIR-IGIB and ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) 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, the note said.

India’s R&D talent

According to Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO, TATA Medical and Diagnostics Ltd, the approval for the Tata CRISPR test will give a boost to the country’s efforts in fighting the global pandemic. “The commercialization of the 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.”

Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director CSIR-IGIB said that work started by CSIR under the sickle cell mission for genome diagnostics and therapeutics led to new knowledge that could be harnessed to quickly develop new diagnostic test for SARS-CoV-2. This shows the interconnectedness of scientific knowledge and technology and the innovation of the young research team led by Dr Debojyoti Chakraborty and Dr Souvik Maiti.

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Published on September 20, 2020
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