Strand Life to set up lab for genomics

Leading biotech firm Strand Life Sciences Ltd is setting up a laboratory here for translational research in genomics and personalised medicine.

The Mazumdar-Shaw Medical Foundation of Biocon Ltd chairperson Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw will partner with the project with an unspecified grant of funds.

“The laboratory will make genomics-based diagnostics accessible and affordable to even ordinary people. The facility will also create an ecosystem to treat patients with cancer and other genetic diseases,” Strand Life said in a statement here Monday.

According to the latest World Health Organisation (WHO) report, around 700,000 Indians die of cancer every year, while a million are diagnosed with some form the disease.

“As 477,000 men and 537,000 women were diagnosed with cancer symptoms across the country in 2012, the challenge require the healthcare sector to use affordability to drive innovation,” Strand Life chief executive Vijay Chandru said in the statement.

The hi-tech lab will be located in the Mazumdar-Shaw Centre for Translational Research on outskirts of the city’s southern suburb.

“With evolving healthcare systems, it is imperative we innovate and develop capabilities to provide personalised treatment and quality care to patients,” Shaw said on the occasion.

Strand will do genomic testing for cancer and other germline/hereditary conditions at affordable cost.

The collaboration will also promote research in genomics and conduct medical and non-medical programmes, seminars and assist clinicians and scientists in performing quality research.

“Partnership with Biocon provides us with an opportunity to conduct and promote research in genomic sequencing based diagnostics,” said Chandru.

Strand has developed a hereditary breast cancer diagnostic test cheaper than comparable tests in the West.

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“Similar innovative tests will be developed in the lab for affordable diagnosis,” Chandru added.

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