New Delhi, Sep 19: The indigenously-developed, cutting-edge technology to detect the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus, Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) test, has 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, 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.
Mr 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 here.
The effort is the result of a fruitful 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 Mr Krishnamurthy.
Dr Shekhar C Mande, DG-CSIR, complimented the CSIR-IGIB team of scientists and students, TATA Sons and DCGI for the exemplary work and collaboration carried out during the current pandemic, leading to the approval of the novel diagnostic kit and paving the path for further innovations towards making India self-reliant.
Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director CSIR-IGIB, expressed delight 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.
He emphasised that 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.