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On April 12, 2020 CSIR-Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad was identified by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to be one of the five validation centres for COVID-19 testing in India. CSIR-CCMB is the only non-ICMR lab to be a part of these Centres of Excellence that will validate the non-US FDA and non-EUA/CE-IVD approved kits for COVID-19 testing.

This step comes as a welcome step as the number of COVID-19 testing in India needs to be ramped up hugely. Lack of kits developed and imported from other countries necessitates India to develop its own testing kits. Multiple start-ups and life science companies across the country have been already identified for their ability to develop such kits. However, their kits need to be quickly validated by authorized bodies to ensure the quality and worth of their product. The Centres of Excellence will play a crucial role in such validation of these kits, and subsequent approval for use for the testing centres in the country.

“Since Mar 31, 2020 CCMB itself has been a testing centre for COVID-19, and has been working with hospitals across 33 districts of Telangana. It has also trained medical doctors and staff from government hospitals in the state. This new responsibility of kit validation will now enable us to support the healthcare and life science industry sector to bring all stakeholders together in this fight against COVID-19”, says Dr Rakesh Mishra, Director, CCMB.