Thiruvananthapuram: The Tata Group has tied up with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) here, for commercial production of COVID-19 testing kits.
The kits will be based o n RT-LAMP (Reverse Transcriptase Loop-Mediated Amplification) 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 start soon thereafter.
The Tata Sons partnership with SCTIMST follows its partnership with CSIR-Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology to produce CRISPR based COVID test kits. Tata Sons expect these two partnerships to boost its efforts to cater to the rising 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 setup to create copies of viral DNA for detection, which significantly reduces the complexity of 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 level of RNA from the swab sample.
“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. I would like to commend the efforts of the research & development team of the Institute and the Tata Group in building this partnership at this critical time to serve the needs of the nation,” said Dr V K Saraswat, Member- Niti Aayog and President, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology.