Bengaluru-based Azooka Labs recently made headlines in every Indian newspaper for launching India's first indigenous bio-sample kit known as mWRAPR. Azooka Labs is a startup incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc). Azooka, a patented fluorophore company, focuses on developing safe and affordable biotech consumables.
What is mWRAPR?
- It is India's first biological transport and storage medium that would be especially useful in genomic sequencing labs, research labs, and biobanks.
- mWRAPR is the only molecular transport medium that will be produced in India; the first to have quality standards that are at par with reputed sample stabilization and transporting mediums of foreign brands such as Qiagen's Paxgene, Thermofisher's RNALater, among others.
Purpose of mWRAPR
India's first biological transport and storage medium mWRAPR serves the following purposes -
- handling biological samples for molecular analysis.
- preserving all types of genetic content such as biological samples, like blood, body fluids, cells, saliva, tissues, microbiomes, and faecal tubes.
Significance of mWRAPR
Until now, the sample collection kits used in India were not of molecular grade. They were made of cheap nutrient-based media that could be easily contaminated. With the frequent need for PCR/ RT-PCR testing, a home-grown mWRAPR medium was the need of the hour.
Furthermore, mWRAPR will be manufactured in India. As such, it is a step towards attainting India's mission of self-reliance in manufacturing and is a significant step toward fighting the COVID-19 pandemic. It also promotes India's program of 'Make in India', motivating others to do so as well.
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Lastly, India had to endure supply chain blockages for sample storage and transport kits because of the ongoing pandemic. This further limited India's accessibility to materials for molecular diagnostics. The pinch of the supply crisis was especially felt in the area of research, mainly with the growing need for testing during the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with mWRAPR, India can now domestically manufacture mediums to preserve all types of genetic content.
Post the first wave of the COVID-19, Honeywell and Citigroup helped Azooka's RNA WRAPR with incubation-to-market bridge funding. Since then, Azooka has developed a contamination-free COVID-19 Viral Transport Medium that can be kept for a week at room temperature.
FAQs on mWRAPR
Q.1. What is mWRAPR?
mWRAPR is a biological storage and transport medium especially used for genomic sequencing.
Q.2. Who launched mWRAPR?
Bengaluru-based Azooka Labs, a start-up incubator of the Society for Innovation and Development at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bengaluru, Karnataka, launched mWRAPR.
Q.3. What is the purpose of mWRAPR?
mWRAPR is a sample collection, biological storage, and transport medium. It can be used for molecular grade sample collection and during the COVID-19 pandemic for RT-PCR testing.
Q.4. When was mWRAPR launched?
mWRAPR was launched in February 2022 in India.
Q.5. What is the significance of mWRAPR?
Until now, India used bio-sample kits that were manufactured abroad. mWRAPR will be manufactured domestically, and the country won't have to endure the supply crunch of bio-sample kits prevalent during the ongoing pandemic.