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India’s first CRISPR COVID-19 test approved for use
Made in India technology to detect genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) test, on September 19 received regulatory approvals from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for commercial launch, as per the ICMR guidelines.
Meeting high quality benchmarks with 96 per cent sensitivity and 98 per cent specificity, Tata CRISPR is the world’s first diagnostic test to deploy a specially-adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus causing COVID-19, said Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO at Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd.
This marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community, moving from R&D to a high-accuracy, scalable and reliable test in less than 100 days, he added.
Krishnamurthy said the Tata CRISPR test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests, with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment, and better ease of use.
Moreover, CRISPR is a futuristic technology that can also be configured for detection of multiple other pathogens in the future, the Ministry of Science and Technology said in a statement.
The effort is the result of a collaboration between the scientific community and industry. The Tata Group has worked closely with CSIR-IGIB and ICMR, to create a high-quality test that will help the nation ramp up the COVID-19 testing quickly and economically, with a ‘Made in India’ product that is safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible.
“The approval for Tata CRISPR test will give boost to the country’s efforts in fighting the global pandemic. The commercialisation of the Tata CRISPR test reflects the tremendous R&D talent in the country, which can collaborate to transform the country’s contributions to the global healthcare and scientific research world,” said Krishnamurthy.
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