Tata Group partners Trivandrum-based institute to make Covid-19 test kits

A medic works on a sample for COVID-19 Rapid Test at a camp during the nationwide lockdown imposed in a bid to contain the spread of coronavirus, in Bhubaneswar, Monday, April 20, 2020 | Photo: PTI
The Tata Group on Sunday said that it has partnered with a Trivandrum-based government institute for commercial production of Covid-19 testing kits based on a technology that would produce results in significantly less time.

Earlier, Tata Sons had said that it is gearing up to commercially produce an indigenously developed rapid testing kit using cutting edge technology that can be useful for mass testing. Developed by the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) scientists and named after the famous Bengali fictional sleuth 'Feluda', the kit is going to be ready for use on ground soon. Feluda tests use Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR)-based technology for detecting virus presence in a sample.

Tata Sons has now tied up with the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, under the Department of Science and Technology for commercial production of Covid-19 testing kits. The kits will be based on 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 commence soon after.

Commenting on the tie-up,Banmali Agrawala, President - Infrastructure and Defence & Aerospace, Tata Sons said, "Testing is a crucial part of this fight against CoVID-19 as early detection and treatment arrests the spread of the infection. With more and more tests being conducted, the demand for testing kits is growing. Our association with Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute is significant step in our efforts to encourage indigenous production of second generation testing kits which enhances speed of testing and ease of handling.”

The group did not disclose details around the number of kits to be produced and the tentative pricing for these tests. India roughly tests 100,000 people per day now.

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