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RNA extraction kit ready, may speed up Covid-19 tests

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RNA extraction kit ready, may speed up Covid-19 tests
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Thiruvananthapuram: Chitra Magna, a RNA extraction kit, developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), an 'Institution of National Importance' under the Union Science and Technology Department, for isolating RNA (ribonucleic acid) from swabs for Covid-19 tests is ready for rollout.

It will be launched at by SCTIMST at a function here on Thursday. The innovative technology of Chitra Magna has been transferred to Agappe Diagnostics, Ernakulam.

The firm has the Chitra Gene LAMP-N technology, which uses RT-LAMP for identification of the N gene of SARS-COV-2. It's a potential confirmatory test with accuracy matching RT-PCR in its initial validation at the National Institute of Virology, Pune, by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR).

The protocol for the kit uses magnetic nanoparticles to capture and concentrate the RNA from the patient sample. It's of significant advantage because even if some viral RNA disintegrates during storage and transportation of the samples, all of it is captured by the magnetic bead-based extraction technology.

The present kits cost Rs 300 and are imported. The new one will cost Rs 150. Agappe Diagnostics will manufacture around 300,000 kits in a month, making testing quicker.

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