As per a press release by Tata Sons, Tata has made an agreement with SCTIMST (Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology) for the commercial production of Covid-19 Testing Kits. SCIMST is an institute of national importance. The basis of the kits will be the RT-Lamp technology (Reverse Transcriptase of India Loop-Mediated Amplification technology). This technology helps in producing results in less time and hence increases the overall efficiency of the labs. The production of these kits will commence as soon as the tests get approval. Earlier, Tata sons had done a partnership with CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology to make Covid-19 test kits based on CRISPR technology.
Testing is a crucial part of the fight against Covid-19 and the production of such test kits which take comparatively less time to provide results gives a boost to this fight. Moreover, the production of the test kits indigenously will help reduce India’s dependency on other countries to import test kits. With the rise in the number of cases, it is important that the country must have sufficient testing kits providing quicker results for better control of the spread of the virus. The ChitraGene LAMP-N test creates copies of the DNA of the virus which reduces the time for its detection when compared to the PCR technology which is Real-Time.
The SCTIMST is an institute which is under the Department of Science and Technology. As per a press release by the institute has a mission to become a global leader in advanced super speciality medical services and development of affordable medical technology. Prof Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology stated that “Development of a novel, inexpensive, faster, a confirmatory test for the diagnosis of COVID-19 by Sree Chitra in a record time is a compelling example of how a creative team of scientists, clinicians, and industry working together seamlessly can leverage knowledge and infrastructure to make relevant breakthroughs”.