On May 21, 2020, Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Science and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, Cochin, a vitro diagnostics manufacturing company organised the commercial launch of The Agappe Chitra Manga, a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction Kit for the detection of COVID-19 at the Biomedical Technology Wing of SCTIMST.
i.The Agappe Chitra Manga is a magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit for use during testing in the detection of COVID-19 developed by the SCTIMST, Trivandrum, an institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) and transferred to Agappe Diagnostics Ltd in April 2020 now available in the market as Agappe Chitra manga RNA Isolation Kit.
ii.The kit was validated at the National Institute of Virology for COVID-19 RNA isolation and The Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation(CDSCO) has approved the commercialization of this kit.
iii.The announcement of commercial launch was made by Dr. VK Saraswat, NITI Aayog member and President of SCTIMST in presence of Ashutosh Sharma, Secretary DST, Asha Kishore Director SCTIMST, HK Varma, Head of Biomedical Technology and the scientists of institute in a programme attended through video conference followed by the first sale by Mr. Thomas John, MD of Agappe Diagnostics to Amrita Institute of Medical Science officials, Kochi.
iv.The cost of the kit is Rs.150 which is expected to reduce the cost of testing and the nation’s dependence on imported kits which cost around Rs 300.
v.This kit can be used for the RNA extraction of Reverse Transcription-Loop-mediated Isothermal Amplification(RT-LAMP), Reverse Transcription-Quantitative Polymerase Chain reaction(RT-qPCR), Reverse Transcription Polymerase Chain reaction(RT-PCR) and isothermal and PCR based protocols for the detection of SARS-CoV-2
Working of RNA isolation kit:
The Kit uses the magnetic nanoparticle beads to bind with the viral RNA and to give a highly purified and concentrated RNA, exposing it to a magnetic field. The sensitivity of detection depends on getting an adequate quantity of viral RNA, this enhances the chances of identifying the positive cases.
President – Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat(Member-NITI Aayog)
Director – Prof Asha Kishore
Inaugurated in – 1976