Feluda, India’s first indigenously developed test for COVID-19, is likely to hit the market within the month.
This was confirmed by an official from the science ministry.
The test has been developed by researchers from the Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology and is based on the genetic editing tool CRISPR/Cas-9
The test will be marketed by Tata Sons.
It may be mentioned here that the device has already received the approval from the Drug Controller General of India in September.
Notably, the test was found to have high sensitivity of 96 per cent and specificity of 98 per cent. This means that Feluda test can accurately detect both positive and negative cases up to 96 or 98 per cent of the time.
It may be mentioned here that the test barcodes the Cas9 protein – a component of the CRISPR gene editing system – to interact specifically with the genetic material of SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
This complex of Cas9 and CoV2 is then applied on a paper-strip test, which gives the result in the form of two lines for a positive and a single line for a negative just like the home pregnancy test.
For the new test, samples are collected using a throat and nasal swab just the way it is done for RT-PCR tests.