Azooka Labs, a startup incubated by the Society for Innovation and Development at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc.),has launched mWRAPR, a biological transport and storage medium for genomic sequencing labs, biobanks, and research labs handling biological samples for molecular analysis.
The company claims that mWRAPR is India’s first indigenous bio-sample kit, a biological transport and storage medium that would help in preserving genetic content in all types of biological samples, including microbiomes, saliva, cells, tissues, blood, body fluids, and fecal tubes.
It is the only Molecular Transport Medium to be manufactured in India that competes with sample stabilisation and transporting media, such as Paxgene from Qiagen, RNALater from Thermofisher, Zymo Sample Collection Kits, UTM from BD Biosciences, claims the company.
Prof. B. Gurumurthy, CEO,Society for Innovation and Development (SID), said with a global supply chain crunch limiting accessibility to materials for molecular diagnostics, especially in the area of research, there is an increasing need for India to manufacture them.
“While most high-quality storage and transport media for biological samples in India are manufactured abroad, we are proud to say that home-grown Azooka Labs is stepping in to fill in that gap, and meet the demand,’‘ he added.
Alex Paul, Co-founder and CEO, Azooka Labs said, “India required to move to molecular tests (PCR/ RT-PCR test), but sample collection kits currently used were not of molecular grade as they were cheap nutrient-based media with significant potential for contamination. RNA WRAPR is the kind of molecular grade sample collection medium that India needs right now.”
After the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Azooka’s RNA WRAPR received incubation-to-market bridge funding from Honeywell and Citigroup to develop a contamination-free COVID-19 Viral Transport Medium that can be stored at room temperature for up to a week.