NEW DELHI: Global Gene Corp, a well-known genomics data platform, has teamed up with US-based Regeneron Genetics Center (RGC) to sequence the exomes of people from the Indian sub-continent and examine the links between human genetic variations and specific diseases.
The collaboration is the largest programme in India and is specifically aimed at generating genomic understanding of populations in the Indian sub-continent to provide better healthcare to people, said Sumit Jamuar, Chairman and CEO of Global Gene Corp.
“The genomics revolution is crucial to the delivery of improved healthcare for all… India with 1.3 billion people represents 20 percent of the world’s population, yet her population contributes less than 1 percent of genomic data and insights,” Jamuar said in a press release.
Genomic sequencing data generated by the RGC will be paired with de-identified medical records from consenting patients to research connection between genetic variations and medical ailments common in the Indian populace.
“A deeper understanding of the genetic architecture and disease burden in populations throughout the Indian sub-continent will enable the identification of novel genes associated with many rare and common diseases, potentially facilitating therapeutic development, diagnosis and delivery of precision medicine,” said RGC vice president Alan Shuldiner.
The project is expected to be on the scale of national genomics initiatives such as 100,000 Genomes project in the United Kingdom. Invest India, a government agency dedicated to investment promotion and facilitation, is playng a key role by helping Gene Corp in building world-class facilities in Mumbai and Ahmedabad “We believe that genomics will help India to achieve a paradigm shift in healthcare. The Government of India is focussed on healthcare for all, particularly with the Ayushmann Bharat initiative announced by PM Modi. Genomic technology is important to achieve this mission. This investment by Global Gene Corp and Regeneron will create infrastructure, jobs and opportunity for the future in India,” said Deepak Bagla, MD & CEO, Invest India.
Genetic evidence has revolutionized scientific discovery and drug development in recent years by providing clear links between certain genes and disease. Currently, an estimated 90 percent of potential medicines entering clinical trials fail to demonstrate the necessary efficacy and safety, mostly due to incomplete understanding of the link between the biological target of a drug and human disease.
By contrast, medicines developed with human genetic evidence have had substantially higher success rates and patient care has benefited.
Source: The Times of India