Central Drug Research Institute signs MoU to sequence virus strains
On April 18, 2020, the Central Drug Research Institute (CDRI) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with King George Medical University to sequence the strains of COVID-19 virus samples obtained from different patients.
What is the plan?
According to the MoU, a Lucknow based lab is to sequence the virus strains. This is to be done under a “Digital and Molecular Surveillance”. A molecular surveillance system is collection, reporting and analysis of genetic sequences. Molecular surveillance is currently being used in HIV drug testing, foodborne infections and TB.
There are nine different variants of the virus known so far. Three were recently found by Gujarat Biotechnology Research Centre.
Currently, the CDRI is working on repurposing of drugs to fight COVID-19. According to CDRI, repurposing of drugs is the fastest way to find solution to the virus rather than finding a new drug. Repurposing of drugs is a new strategy that investigates the existing drugs for therapeutic purposes.