The Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI) approved ‘Feluda’, the Tata Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) test powered by the CSIR-IGIB, for commercial launch, Union Ministry of Science and Technology’s CSIR has said in a statement. The test was approved as per the guidelines set by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), which has been spearheading the battle against COVID-19 in India. The test met high quality benchmarks, and was found to have 96% sensitivity and 98% specificity for the detection of novel coronavirus.
  1. The test makes use of an indigenous, “cutting-edge” CRISPR technology to detect the genomic sequence of the coronavirus. 
  2. The newly approved test is the first diagnostic test in the world to deploy a specially-adapted Cas9 protein for the successful detection of SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus which causes COVID-19. 
  3. This was a significant achievement on the part of the scientific community in India, since the team did everything from the research to the development of a scalable, reliable and high-accuracy test within less than 100 days. 
  4. The ‘Feluda’ or Tata CRISPR test can achieve the same accuracy levels as those of the traditional and widely used RT-PCR tests, while having a quicker turn-around time, being easier to use and requiring less expensive equipment.
  5. The test was developed due to the scientific community and the industry working in tandem, with the Tata Group working closely with ICMR and CSIR-IGIB for the development of a high-quality test. 
  6. This can help India significantly increase its testing capability at an economical advantage within a short span of time. The test is ‘Made in India’ and is safe, accessible, reliable as well as affordable.