The IIT Madras is partnering with the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re) to develop a urine-based tuberculosis diagnosis or screening.

The envisaged product is anticipated to be faster and far more affordable than the existing point-of-care diagnostic kits available for various diseases such as blood glucose monitors, said a press release.

The know-how and the relevant technologies will be made available to start-ups or diagnostic kit manufacturers. The key beneficiaries of this project, which is getting CSR funding from the GIC Re, will be primary, secondary, and tertiary healthcare centres besides the Health departments in State and Central governments.

An MoU towards this corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnership was signed on February 10 by Mahesh Panchagnula, Dean (Alumni and Corporate Relations), IIT Madras, and Madhulika Bhaskar, Director and General Manager, GIC Re.

Tuberculosis is among the most prevalent infectious diseases in the country and the government of India has set itself a goal to ‘end TB’ by 2025. However, these efforts have been hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic. Timely, easier, and accessible means of TB diagnosis is key to gaining control over the spread of the disease.

Establishing proof-of-concept

IIT Madras has already developed and patented the technologies for fiber optic sensor probe fabrication and optoelectronic readout devices. The intellectual property will be licensed to the interested parties for the envisaged application on a case-to-case basis.

This research project will help in establishing the proof-of-concept at the clinical level. Over two to three years, with the help of partnerships with appropriate industry partners, the product will be available for use and wide deployment.

IIT Madras has partnered with over 180 entities under CSR and has raised over ₹250 crore to implement 200+ projects to date, the release added.