New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) The Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) launched a programme on Thursday to boost India's preparedness for current and future pandemics and scale up diagnostics space for infectious diseases.
The launch of the National Diagnostics Catapult (C-CAMP InDx 2.0) took place in the presence of Dr Parvinder Maini, scientific secretary at the office of the principal scientific adviser to the government.
The programme is anchored by C-CAMP with support from the Bangalore Life Sciences Cluster (BLiSc) and funding from the Rockefeller Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and FIND, a global alliance for diagnostics.
According to a statement issued by C-CAMP and the Rockefeller Foundation, the programme aims to boost India's preparedness for current and future pandemics and scale up diagnostics space for infectious diseases including but not limited to COVID-19.
Further, C-CAMP InDx 2.0 is envisioned to set a global model for capacity building in the diagnostics domain in lower- and middle-income countries to meet the twin goals of affordability and accessibility in the United Nations vision for universal health coverage.
Professor Ajay Sood, principal scientific adviser to the Government of India, said, "I congratulate all of you at the launch of C-CAMP InDx 2.0, a national diagnostics catapult. PSA Office had a proximal view through the journey of CCAMP-InDx 1.0 and its eventual success towards enabling mass-scale accessibility and affordability for COVID-19 diagnostics."
"I am delighted C-CAMP is taking the next step to build on its Phase-1, to enable such global capabilities for infectious disease diagnostics, with the support of funders like BMGF, RF and FIND,” he said.
Naveen Rao, senior vice president of Health Initiative at the Rockefeller Foundation, said, “As we witness the resurgence and unseasonal spread of several infectious diseases due to climate change, countries must strengthen diagnostic capabilities to prepare for and respond to outbreaks swiftly and efficiently."
"The Rockefeller Foundation is proud to support the National Diagnostics Catapult, which builds on the impactful work of C-CAMP-InDx 1.0 that catalysed the growth of affordable and high quality diagnostics for COVID-19 in India."
Diagnostics play a key role in infectious disease management both at individual and community level.
C-CAMP InDx 2.0 looks to address this dual need by enabling access through innovation, development and commercialization of high-quality, affordable diagnostics and building a robust surveillance platform for rapid response by the public health system to disease outbreaks, the statement stated.
C-CAMP InDx 2.0 builds on the hugely successful, India-wide COVID-19 diagnostics platform, Indigenisation of Diagnostics (CCAMP-InDx) initiative launched in July 2020.
In one year since its launch, the programme had achieved its target of one million indigenous RT-PCR test kits for SARS CoV2 per day, building capacity of more than 200 indigenous MSMEs and academic labs in the diagnostics ecosystem, the largest such cohort in the country.
CCAMP-InDx has enabled development of 40-plus regulatory approved RT-PCR kits and 12 rapid tests, all in the market currently, the statement said.
C-CAMP is an initiative supported by government agencies, including the Department of Biotechnology, Department of Science and Technology, NITI Aayog-AIM, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Startup India and the Government of Karnataka.