New Delhi, May 22 : A magnetic nanoparticle-based RNA extraction kit ‘Agappe Chitra Magna’ testing for detection of COVID-19 has been commercially launched by NITI Aayog Member and President of SCTIMST Dr VK Saraswat, an official said here on Friday.
The RNA extraction kit, launched on Thursday, was developed by Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST), Trivandrum, an Institute of National Importance of the Department of Science and Technology (DST) along with Agappe Diagnostics Ltd, an in vitro diagnostics manufacturing company based in Cochin. “The commercial launch of the kit is a major step to make India self-reliant in detecting COVID19 and can help increase the rate of testing and bring down its costs, a crucial step for combating the pandemic.
It can also be an example of rapid commercialization and implementation of a state of the art technology for the world to emulate,” Dr. Saraswat said. Speaking at the event, the DST Secretary Prof Ashutosh Sharma said, “This is an example where scientists and industry worked in tandem with a purpose to serve an urgent need. The innovative process of conjugating the RNA with magnetic nanoparticles and increasing their concentration in one place by applying a magnetic field is a breakthrough that allowed the high sensitivity of RT-LAMP test from SCTIMST. Multidisciplinary lateral thinking and industry involvement right from the beginning allowed the technology to be developed into a product that was suited to meet the need of the hour, Prof Sharma added.
At the launch ceremony, SCTIMST Director Dr Asha Kishore, Biomedical technology Head Dr HK Varma and other scientists of the institute participated through a video conference. (UNI)