MSME unit has approached CSIR-NEERI for commercializing the Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology developed by CSIR-NEERI. On September 11, at the residence of Union Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari where the ceremonial transfer of SOP and know-how to the MSME unit was done.
The following were present with Nitin Gadkari: Dr. Srivari Chandrasekhar (Director, CSIR-NEERI), Dr Atul Vaidya (Chairman, Technology Transfer, CSIR-NEERI), Dr Krishna Khairnar, Scientist and Head, EVC, CSIR-NEERI (Innovator of Saline Gargle RT-PCR), Rajesh Daga and Kamlesh Daga (MSME Unit Director)
The Saline Gargle RT-PCR technology developed by CSIR-NEERI is a non-invasive, faster, and cheaper mode of RT-PCR testing to detect the COVID-19 Virus, which is at par with gold standard.
India has been making multipronged strides in augmenting its testing infrastructure and capacity ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. Nagpur-based National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) under the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has made a landmark achievement in this journey by developing a ‘Saline Gargle RT-PCR Method’ for detecting SARS-COV-2 virus for diagnosis of COVID-19. The principal inventor of Saline Gargle RT-PCR is Dr Krishna Khairnar and the team of research scholars working in Environmental Virology at CSIR-NEERI, Nagpur.
In the light of the current pandemic situation and probable third wave of COVID-19, CSIR-NEERI has fast-tracked the know-how transfer process to potential licensees for its wider dissemination across the nation. CSIR-NEERI states that the innovation is ‘dedicated to the nation’ to serve the society. The know-how transfer is on a non-exclusive basis so that it can be commercialized to all parties, including private, government and various rural development schemes and departments subject to the capability. The licensee is expected to set up manufacturing facilities for commercial production in the form of easily usable compact kit.
The Saline Gargle method offers a bunch of attractive benefits, and all rolled into one. It is simple, fast, cost-effective, patient-friendly and comfortable; it also provides instant results and is well-suited for rural and tribal areas, given minimal infrastructure requirements.
The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method is instant, comfortable and patient-friendly. Sampling is done instantly, and results and reports are generated within 3 hours.
The method is non-invasive and so simple that the patient can self-collect the sample. Collection methods like nasopharyngeal and oropharyngeal swab collection require technical expertise; they are also time-consuming. In contrast, the Saline Gargle RT-PCR method uses a simple collection tube filled with special saline solution. The patient gargles and rinses the saline solution and releases it inside the collection tube. The sample collection tube is sent to the RT-PCR testing laboratory, where it is mixed with a special RNA release buffer solution. A simple incubation at room temperature followed by heating is enough to give a reasonably good RNA for doing direct Reverse Transcription Real-Time Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR). This way, the use of costly RNA extraction kits and automated RNA extraction machines are not required for Saline Gargle RT-PCR. The method is environment-friendly as well since waste generation is minimized. The Saline Gargle RT-PCR method needs implementation across the nation especially the resource poor regions like rural and tribal areas, resulting in faster and more citizen-friendly testing. This will strengthen our battle against the pandemic, said the Union Cabinet Minister Nitin Gadkari.