Several questions have been raised around the efficacy of Shycocan (Scalene Hypercharge Corona Canon), a device which claims to kill the Coronavirus in closed spaces. But its developer Rajah Vijay Kumar clearly stands by his invention.
Kumar, who is the global chairman and founder of a private company Organization De Scalene says the Shycocan device is a contribution of his firm towards the fight against Covid-19 and the organisation has not been charging any royalty for the product, which has already been commercialised in India.
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A curious mind at a young age led Kumar on the path to research, with stalwarts such as the late A P J Abdul Kalam as his mentors. “He used to enquire about my work during his DRDO days and we used to discuss a lot of futuristic things,” claims Kumar, who holds over 34 patents for all the innovations he has developed so far in the fields of biophysics, radiobiology, nanotechnology, sustainable energy, modern telecommunications and water resources management.
In fact, Kumar came out with his first invention at the age of 14 during the late 70s, when fruits were sold by the dozen in Karnataka. Teenager Kumar developed a fruit-counting machine that had a platform on which the seller could load the produce and key in the number of the item the buyer required. The machine would count the number of fruits and load it in a bag for the buyer.
His and his team’s invention, the Shycocan device, claims to neutralise coronavirus suspended in air in closed spaces. It was developed in late 2018 to restrict the spread of influenza and keep a check on absenteeism at Scalene’s campus because of common flu. “It was more of a fun project but later we took it seriously as Covid outbreak happened,” says Kumar.
How it works
The novel coronavirus has been found to have spike proteins, or S-Proteins, which are the keys that the pathogen uses to enter host cells. The device attacks these S-Proteins. The device releases a very high concentration of electrons using the company’s proprietary Photon-Mediated Electron Emitters to emit and excite photons with the required kinetic energy. These electrons are negatively charged and are attracted to the negative charge-seeking guidance mechanism of the virus’ S-Protein thus neutralising it so that its capability to infect goes away.
“This device isn't a treatment for Covid patients, but if people are sitting in a boardroom and an asymptomatic person walks in, it will kill the virus emanated in the room and protect others from getting infected,” explains Kumar.
The company claims to have done research to prove that the device does not harm any other microorganisms including bacteria and fungi. According to Kumar, the USFDA has notified the device under its enforcement discretion guidelines which means the device can be supplied in the market till the Covid 19 health emergency exists. “Shycocan will also work in the event of a new virus from the coronavirus family coming in.
Hence, we want to continue the supply of the product in the market post Covid for which we are in discussion with the FDA for an approval,” says the researcher.
While the scientific community has been raising concerns against the device on ground of non-availability of proper scientific validation of the product, Scalene has tied up with nine companies such as Medwin Healthcare and Eureka Forbes for the manufacturing and distribution of the product. It has been priced at Rs 20,000 with priority being given to places such as old age homes and those where frontline Covid warriors are placed. On the questions being raised about the device, Kumar says “everything in science is not understood by everybody. What we know is a small bit.”
Next, his company is working on a drug delivery system which will guide the drug to the affected organ of the body improving its efficacy.
Caption: Rajah Vijay Kumar, global chairman, Organization De Scalene and inventor of Shycocan