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CSIR IGIB and TATA Sons sign MoU for licensing 'KNOWHOW' for rapid diagnosis of COVID-19

ANI | Updated: May 06, 2020 05:39 IST

New Delhi[India], May 6 (ANI): For rapid diagnosis of COVID-19, an MoU was signed between Council of Scientific and Industrial Research's (CSIR) constituent lab, Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) and TATA Sons for licensing of 'KNOWHOW' for FNCAS9 Editor Linked Uniform Detection Assay (FELUDA) for rapid diagnosis of Covid19.
Dr Shekhar C Mande DG-CSIR told ANI: "CSIR labs such as CSIR-IGIB have been working on deep science and developing cutting edge technology and I am happy to see that leading Industry TATA Group is partnering towards its deployment. The strong partnership with industry in tackling Covid-19 has been the hallmark of CSIRs strategy in mitigation of COVID-19."
'The license shall include the transfer of the knowledge for scaling up the 'KNOWHOW' in the form of a kit that can be deployed for COVID-19 testing on ground as early as the end of May' the release stated.
Banmali Agrawala, president of Infrastructure and Defence and Aerospace, Tata Sons said, "We are happy to enter into a partnership with Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology of CSIR for further development and commercialisation of Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) based technology for COVID-19 detection."

"This innovative CRISPR 'Feluda' test uses cutting edge CRISPR technology for detection of the genomic sequence of the novel coronavirus. It uses a test protocol that is simple to administer and easy to interpret enabling results to be made available to the medical fraternity in relatively lesser time, as compared to other test protocols," he added.
A completely indigenous scientific invention, FELUDA for COVID-19 has been designed for mitigating the ongoing COVID-19 situation and cater to mass testing.
"The technology was conceived and developed at CSIR-IGIB under sickle cell mission and utilizes an indigenously developed cutting edge CRISPR Cas9 technology to specifically recognize COVID-19 sequence in a sample," said Dr Anurag Agrawal, Director-IGIB.
Its main advantages are its affordability, relative ease of use and non-dependency on expensive Q-PCR machines.
Presently India has reached 46,711 COVID-19 positive cases across the country. (ANI)