On 5th May 2020, the Constituent lab of CSIR (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research), Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology(CSIR-IGIB) and TATA Sons signed an MoU for licensing of KNOWHOW related to the development for FNCAS9 EDITOR LINKED UNIFORM DETECTION ASSAY (FELUDA) FOR RAPID DIAGNOSIS OF COVID-19.Key Points:
i.The Licensing includes the sharing of knowledge for scaling up to KNOWHOW in the kit form and deployment for the testing of COVID-19 on the ground within the end of May. The FELUDA for COVID-19 is designed for mitigating the COVID-19 situation and performing mass testing.
ii.The advantages of this are the affordability, ease of use and non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR (quantitative -polymerase chain reaction ) machines, used to detect, characterize and quantify nucleic acids for numerous applications
iii.The partnership between the CSIR-IGIB and TATA sons will be utilized for the development and commercialisation of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats(CRISPR) based technology for the detection of COVID-19.
iv.The technology of CRISPR can be configured for the detection of multiple pathogens in the future. The Cas9 technology of CRISPR is utilized to specifically identify the COVID-19 sequence in the sample.
v.The CRISPR biology and paper-strip chemistry combined to develop the visible signal readout on a strip of paper which can be used for assessment for the presence of viral infection in the sample.
Feluda test Kit:
i.The test was developed by Debojyoti Chakraborty and Souvik Maiti for detecting SARS-coV2 in a sample and was named after the detective character in the stories of Satyajit Ray.
ii.It uses a specifically designed PCR reaction to amplify the part of the viral nucleic acid sequence. The FnCAS9 binds the sequence.
Director– Anurag Agarwaal
Head, Planning Monitoring and Evaluation– Jyoti Yadav
Head HR– Sarala Balachandran
Director-General -Dr Shekhar C Mande