Tata group set to launch India's first low-cost COVID-19 test

Feluda, the Tata CRISPR COVID-19 test, achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests, with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment, and better ease of use.
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The Tata group said it had received approval from the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) for the commercial launch of Feluda, the country's first CRISPR COVID-19 test.

This test uses the indigenously developed India's first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats technology for the detection of the genomic sequence of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes the COVID-19 disease.

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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, the company said.

The Feluda test achieves accuracy levels of traditional RT-PCR tests, with quicker turnaround time, less expensive equipment, and better ease of use, the company said. Moreover, CRISPR is a futuristic technology that can also be configured for detection of multiple other pathogens in the future.

This marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community, moving from research and development to a high-accuracy, scalable, and reliable test in less than 100 days, it added.

The Tata group has worked with CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and 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 company said.

"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 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," TATA Medical and Diagnostics CEO Girish Krishnamurthy said.

Edited by Teja Lele Desai

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