Govt Approves Tata’s Rs 500 ‘Feluda Test’ For Coronavirus: 6 Facts You Should Know
Yes, you heard it right!
A low-budget and accurate paper-based test strip to detect Covid-19 which gives results in less than 30 minutes has been approved for commercial launch by the Drugs Controller General of India(DCGI) on Saturday.
DCGI Approval For ‘Feluda’ Test
Finally, DCGI has given approval for the commercial launch of India’s first Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) coronavirus test named as ‘Feluda’.
Further, the test is developed by the Tata Group and CSIR-IGIB (Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology).
Basically, this uses the cutting-edge CRISPR gene-editing technology to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Covid-19 infection.
Six Facts You Should Know
- It is similar to a pregnancy test strip that will just change color upon detection of the virus and can be easily used in pathological laboratories.
- To get the results, the Cas9 protein is barcoded to interact with the SARS-CoV2 sequence in the patient’s genetic material.
- After performing the test, the Cas9-SARS-CoV2 complex is put on the paper strip, where using two lines (one control, one test) helps in determining if the test sample was infected with Covid-19 or not.
- The newly developed test matches accuracy levels of RT-PCR tests, but obviously with quicker turnaround time and requires less expensive equipment. Where CSIR is considered to be the gold standard in the diagnosis of Covid-19.
- The test is named after the fictional private detective from West Bengal created by renowned writer and filmmaker Satyajit Ray.
- While the RT-PCR test costs anywhere between Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,000, the recently approved ‘Feluda’ test costs just about Rs 500.
Huge Achievement For Indian Scientific Community
The development holds great significance as there has been an average of 10 lakh tests being conducted daily.
Feluda has received the regulatory approvals from DCGI for commercial launch, as per ICMR guidelines, meeting high-quality benchmarks with 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity for detecting the novel coronavirus.
“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 release said.
This launch also marks a significant achievement for the Indian scientific community as they have moved from research and development to a high-accuracy, scalable and reliable test in less than 100 days, according to the release.