Tata MD and Anderson Diagnostic Labs partner to transform COVID testing through Tata MD CHECK

Tata MD and Anderson Diagnostics and Labs establishes India’s first dedicated CRISPR-based COVID Testing Lab accredited by National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories (NABL) at Hosur

Tata MD CHECK can be performed using conventional low cost lab equipment enabling COVID testing in small towns and villages

CHENNAI, 22 March 2021: Tata Medical and Diagnostics (Tata MD), the new healthcare venture from the house of Tata, announced today that it has entered into a wide-ranging clinical collaboration with Chennai-based Anderson Diagnostics & Labs (ADL), to standardize the indigenously - developed Tata MD CHECK in a bid to slow down the rate of new infections.

The collaboration with clinical experts of ADL has helped ensure that the “Made-in-India” Tata MD CHECK diagnostic kit can be scaled rapidly with ADL having already successfully conducted over 10,000 COVID tests using this new, DGCA approved ICMR guidelines, novel diagnostic solution based on Feluda CRISPR Platform.

“Tata’s CRISPR-based platform is a rock-solid COVID test that can be programmed for early detection and treatment of a number of other diseases and conditions as well. The indigenously-developed Tata MD CHECK based on Feluda offers a clear, quicker and more accessible alternative to RT-PCR, the current mainstay of COVID-19 tests. Our clinical partnership with Tata MD will help support the transformation of COVID-19 testing to arrest the emergence of a second wave in India and around the world.” said Dr Srinivasaraman, Director, Anderson Diagnostics and Labs.

“Tata MD CHECK provides a high-quality testing experience with its simplicity, sensitivity, specificity and speed of results. We have performed COVID tests using Tata MD CHECK and reported results well under three hours using, inexpensive lab equipment compared to current available molecular testing platforms. The application of CRISPR technology is a new era in molecular diagnostics.” said Dr Sachin Hongunitkar, Head of Anderson Clinical Genetics, Chennai.

'Having tested and validated more than 10000 samples, we feel this technology is on par with the best in the world and futuristic as well. Moreover, Tata MD CHECK’s ability to perform using inexpensive lab equipment like standard thermocyclers will be a boost for small labs in tier II/III towns and villages to start COVID-19 testing locally” said Dr Anand Krishnamoorthy, Managing Director, Anderson Diagnostics.

“Working with the exceptional team at Anderson Diagnostics has demonstrated the impact that a new technology-based product like Tata MD CHECK can have on strengthening our COVID-19 testing capacity and access to testing in remote areas. Tata’s clinical collaboration with Anderson Diagnostics will only drive advances in the diagnostic space of COVID-19 as the pandemic continues.” said Girish Krishnamurthy, MD & CEO, Tata Medical and Diagnostics.

While RT-PCR tests have been a mainstay in testing for the global COVID-19, unfortunately, the sheer volume of tests demanded by the pandemic, coupled with the high expenses and skill sets required for setting up and operating RT PCR Labs has created a strong need for alternative testing methods.

With its extensive experience in managing COVID for organizations and events, Tata MD also offers Tata MD SECURE, a holistic COVID management program designed for industries, corporate organizations, events (like sports, religious) and educational institutions. The entire program is intended for employee/ stakeholder wellbeing and event/business continuity. Tata MD SECURE is a proven working model for managing COVID-19 and the entire activity is supported by a robust digital platform, designed in consultation with eminent panel of scientists from India and other counties. ADL is a key diagnostic partner in helping several such corporates and industries foster safer workplaces as employees return to work.

Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO & MD said, “The pandemic has affected not just the health of the people but also the economic health of the nation. It is essential that business and industry come back to a state of normal function to arrest the decline in the economy. However, the pandemic is still a matter of concern with the emergence of new strains and any return to normalcy needs to be undertaken with caution. The key, therefore, lies in significantly enhancing the testing capabilities with regular tests for employees, which would enable organisations to reduce exposure to sick employees and allay any fear of resuming work.”

Against the backdrop of new COVID variants and the possible emergence of a second wave, about 70 districts of India have seen an increase of over 150% in the number of COVID cases in the past few weeks, and if the spike is not contained now, once again, we will experience a nationwide outbreak. Many of these towns are small towns/cities and villages including in Tamil Nadu, and need to be protected. The Honorable Prime Minister has asked the states to step up testing as one of the measures to contain COVID 19 second wave.

Strong strategic partnerships allow each partner to bring in their strengths, creating a synergy that augments the efforts in the battle against COVID. The partnership between Tata MD and Anderson Diagnostics and Labs will act as an enabler to optimize delivery of the COVID tests, advance diagnosis for emerging pandemic and diseases, create more value for the people and allow easier access to the tests. Together with its partners, Tata MD will drive change in healthcare through the latest technology and provide COVID-19 testing wherever and whenever needed.

About Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (Tata MD)

Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd (Tata MD), the wholly-owned healthcare venture from the Tata Group, aims to provide leading-edge, patient-centric solutions to make healthcare access more reliable for consumers.

Tata MD’s products and solutions will span different facets of a fast-evolving healthcare economy including the launch CRISPR-based innovative diagnostics, state-of-the-art medical devices as well as integrated ‘connected care’ solutions for rural and urban consumers. Launched during the 2020 pandemic, Tata MD has developed and launched Tata MD CHECK, the world’s first commercially available CRISPR Cas-9 based COVID-19 test, powered by FELUDA from CSIR-IGIB, a leading Indian biosciences research institute.

About Tata MD CHECK Platform:

Tata MD CHECK based on clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) technology — that tests for the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) in just about 75 minutes. Another key advantage of the Tata MD CHECK test is that it can be performed in virtually any lab, using common lab equipment like thermo cyclers. This stands in stark contrast to qPCR-based tests, which require expensive, specialized equipment, limiting those tests to well-equipped diagnostic labs. Plus, the new Tata MD CHECK test is easy to interpret: much like a store-bought pregnancy test, dark lines that appear on test strips indicate the presence of viral genes. Tata MD CHECK provides high sensitivity and specificity and can also be performed using automated robots and in mobile laboratories.

About Anderson Diagnostics & Labs

Anderson Diagnostics & Labs is a doctor-driven diagnostic centre headquartered in Chennai since 2008. ADL focuses on providing high quality diagnostic services and preventive screening in oncology, Theranostics Clinical Genetics and Foetal medicine. ADL is also a renowned pathology centre for various laboratory studies and services. During the past 12 months, ADL has worked successfully conducted 200000+ COVID-19 tests for the Government as well as public.