In a big boost for the nation's efforts against COVID-19, the Drug Controller General of India (DCGI) yesterday (19 September) gave its nod for the commercial launch of India's first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) COVID-19 test called 'Feluda', Livemint.
Developed by the Tata Medical and Diagnostics Limited in a collaboration with CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology), the test meets high-quality benchmarks with a sensitivity of 96 per cent and specificity of 98 per cent in the detection of the disease in a person's body.
The test is the world's first diagnostic test to deploy a specially adapted Cas9 protein to successfully detect the virus. Its genome-editing CRISPR technology has been indigenously developed and it works by detecting the genomic sequence of the COVID-19 virus.
The test achieves the accuracy levels of the traditional RT-PCR test kits, with quicker turnaround time, with less expensive equipment and better ease of usage.
It should also be noted that an official release issued by the Ministry of Science and Technology headed by Dr Harsh Vardhan mentioned that the CRISPR technology developed is a futuristic one, which can also be configured to detect several other pathogens in the future.
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