DCGI Approves Tata Group To Launch low-cost COVID-19 test ‘Feluda’

DCGI Approves Tata Group To Launch low-cost COVID-19 test ‘Feluda’

The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) has approved the commercial launch of ‘Feluda’, a COVID-19 test developed by the Tata Group and CSIR-IGIB (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology).

The test uses an indigenously-developed CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) technology for detection of SARS-CoV-2’s genomic sequence. CRISPR, a technology developed by CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), is a genome editing technology used to diagnose diseases.

This CRISPR test reportedly achieves accuracy levels of the traditional RT-PCR tests with quicker turnaround time. The test uses less expensive equipment and is easier to use.

“The Tata CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) test, powered by CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology) FELUDA, received regulatory approvals today from DCGI for commercial launch, as per ICMR (Indian Council of Medical Research) guidelines, meeting high quality benchmarks with 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity for detecting novel coronavirus,” CSIR’s statement said.

This is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the novel coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.

News agency PTI quoted Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO, TATA Medical and Diagnostics Ltd. say saying that 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,” he said.

According to PTI, CSIR-IGIB Director Anurag Agrawal said that the 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.

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