Context: Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is working overtime on the development of cost-effective and accurate diagnostic kit for COVID-19.
The kit is being developed following the World Health Organization call for “testing, testing and testing” as the key to combat COVID-19 and save as many lives as possible via early diagnostic.
WHAT ARE THE STEPS BEING TAKEN?
- Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is keeping in mind the cost and are planning to keep it within the range of Rs 400-500. Further, CCMB is also planning to culture the covid-19 virus.
- There are 5 government designated testing centres in Telangana state. CCMB has trained 25 people so that they can go and do the testing in these centres.
- Some of the labs where the COVID-19 testing will be done include Nizam’s Institute Of Medical Sciences (NIMS) Hydrabad, Gandhi Hospital, Osmania General Hospital, Sir Ronald Ross Institute of Tropical and Communicable Diseases or the Fever Hospital and the Warangal Hospital.
- The Centre for DNA Finger Printing and Diagnostics (CDFD) is also likely to be added to this group.
- Vaccine and drug development are another aspect of fighting the virus. But as of now CCMB is neither working on the vaccine nor on the drug development. There is a possibility that may be CCMB’s sister organisation Indian Institute of Chemical Technology (IICT) is working for repurposing of drugs as making a new drug is a long-term process.
ABOUT CENTRE FOR CELLULAR AND MOLECULAR BIOLOGY (CCMB)
- The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) is an Indian biotechnology research establishment located in Hyderabad that operates under the aegis of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).
- CCMB is a designated “Center of Excellence” by the Global Molecular and Cell Biology Network, UNESCO. The Republic of India’s national biosafety level – 4 containment facility for human infectious diseases is located on the campus of CCMB.
- The center collaborates with the University of Nebraska Medical Center for translational research on glaucoma. In addition, the centre receives funding for specific collaborative projects from establishments outside India, such as:
- National Institutes of Health, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States.
- The Imperial Cancer Research Fund and Cambridge University in the United Kingdom.
- The India-Japan Science Council and the University of Ryukyus in Japan.
- Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique and the Pasteur Institute in France.
- The Volkswagen Foundation in Germany.
TECHNOLOGICAL ACHIEVEMENTS OF CCMB
- Discovered the heart disease mutation, carried by sixty million people among Indians.
- Developed the first genetically engineered, gene knockout mouse in India.
- Developed the first artificial insemination technology in India, to deliver extinct ruminant mammals, like deer.
- Developed a systematic screening and validation programme for anti-cancer drugs in India.
- Discovered the origin of Andaman tribes, through DNA Fingerprinting technology.
- Commercially delivered, recombinant DNA technology based diagnostic kit for detection of pathogens causing ophthalmic infections.
- Discovered high yielding disease resistant rice.
- Discovered native bacteria, Indibacter alkaliphilus used to generate Enzymes and Bio-molecules in the Industrial Biotechnology sector.
- Discovered the functionality of micro-satellites (simple sequence repeats) among non-coding DNA.
- Discovered the gene CPA1, which causes chronic pancreatitis, in collaboration with Asian Institute of Gastroenterology.
- The ongoing research programmes at the CCMB are in three major categories – (i) High quality basic research in the frontier areas of modern biology, (ii) Research relevant to societal needs, and (iii) Application-oriented research towards commercialisation.