Minister of Science &Technology, Earth Sciences and Health & Family Welfare, Harsh Vardhan has announced that Indian scientists from DBT & CSIR have sequenced more than 1000 SARS-CoV-2 viral genomes making it the largest effort in the country. “This will help in understanding the prevalent strains and the mutation spectrum in India, which will help in diagnostics, drugs, and vaccines,” he said.
Vardhan was speaking while releasing a compendium of Covid-19 technologies and products developed by CSIR. According to the press release, the compendium covers a wide range of technologies and products spanning from diagnostics to drugs to ventilators and PPEs with more than 100 technologies, 93 industry partners listed, and over 60 of these technologies been transferred to industry.
He said, “The portfolio of technologies and products developed in a short time is a testament to CSIR scientists’ capabilities and that they can deliver in most difficult of the circumstances.” He complimented the scientists, students and staff of CSIR for developing these technologies and products at such short notice in these challenging conditions.
He added, “The compendium brought out by CSIR captures the technologies and products well in one place and can help industries and other agencies seeking solutions for Covid-19 to access them easily.”
“CSIR has made significant contributions to India’s fight against Covid-19 on various fronts ranging from augmenting testing capacity to developing novel diagnostics and making affordable repurposed drugs available to patients in partnership with industry. Further, CSIR has developed many hospital assistive devices such as ventilators and PPEs for which a shortage was felt early on in the pandemic. Now CSIR has compiled a compendium which captures the technologies, products and know-how developed for mitigation of Covid-19 pandemic.”
In addition, Vardhan also complimented the role of CSIR in bringing repurposed drugs against Covid-19 to patients at the earliest in partnership with industry such as Cipla for Favipiravir. He emphasized that efforts such as these will benefit Covid19 patients by making the drugs affordable. “CSIR-IICT has developed cost-effective synthetic process technology for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredient (API) of Favipiravir using locally available chemicals and transferred the technology to Cipla who scaled up and manufactured the drug based on this technology”, he said.
Shekhar C Mande, director general, CSIR, said that CSIR has partnered with large industries such as TATA Sons, Reliance Industries, and PSUs such as BHEL and BEL and MSMEs for the deployment of the technologies and products at the earliest. Further, he highlighted that CSIR has developed a Covid-19 Portal that captures these technologies in an easily searchable format for users.