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Bengaluru-based startup develops test to detect Omicron variant

The test is currently being used in a study to detect Omicron variants in sewage samples
Last Updated : 24 January 2023, 21:42 IST
Last Updated : 24 January 2023, 21:42 IST
Last Updated : 24 January 2023, 21:42 IST
Last Updated : 24 January 2023, 21:42 IST

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CrisprBits, a startup incubated by Bengaluru-based Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP), has developed the 'OmiCrisp' test to detect Covid and determine whether the variant is Omicron or not.

C-CAMP is an initiative of the Union government's Department of Biotechnology (DBT) to incubate science startups.

CrisprBits has used the gene-editing technology CRISPR. The test has been validated with support from Bengaluru-based inStem (Institute of Stem Cell Science and Regenerative Medicine) and the research company Strand Life Sciences. It was used on over 80 clinical samples and was 100% accurate in identifying Omicron and non-Omicron variants.

"While RT-PCR tests are commonly used for diagnosing the virus, next-generation sequencing (NGS) is the most reliable method for identifying new strains and understanding their spread. But middle-income countries like India struggle to implement NGS on a large scale due to high costs and complexities," Sunil Arora, Director and CEO of CrisprBits, said. "This has led to a lack of tracking and understanding of the virus strains in these populations."

The test is currently being used in a study to detect Omicron variants in sewage samples.

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Published 24 January 2023, 19:20 IST

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