The Tata Group has entered into a partnership agreement with the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) in Thiruvananthapuram for commercial production of Covid-19 testing kits.
The kits will be based on Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Amplification (RT-LAMP) technology for Covid-19 detection, which can produce results in significantly less time, thereby, increasing the throughput of labs in India.
The tests are expected to get approval shortly and production will commence soon after, Tata Group said in a statement.
Tata Sons’ tie-up with SCTIMST follows its partnership with the CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology to produce CRISPR-based COVID test kits. These two partnerships will significantly boost Tata Sons’ efforts to cater to the burgeoning demand for COVID testing across the country.
The RT-LAMP is a futuristic technology that can be adapted for point-of-care setting. The ‘Chitra Gene LAMP-N’ test uses an isothermal set-up to create copies of viral DNA for detection, which significantly reduces the complexity of the overall process compared to the prevalent Real Time PCR technology.
Additionally, the test also uses proprietary magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction, which gives highly purified and concentrated levels of RNA from the swab sample.
“The Tata Group is committed to playing its part in fighting the global epidemic. Testing is a crucial part of the fight against Covid-19, as early detection and treatment arrests the spread of the infection. With more and more tests being conducted, the demand for testing kits is growing. Our association with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute is a significant step in our efforts to encourage indigenous production of second generation testing kits, which enhances speed of testing and ease of handling,” Banmali Agrawala, President-Infrastructure and Defence & Aerospace, Tata Sons said.
“The mass production of RT-Lamp-based Covid-19 testing kits with the active support of the Tata Group will be a significant milestone for the institute,” said V K Saraswat, Member Niti Aayog and President, SCTIMST. – The Hindu BusinessLine