MedGenome Labs collaborates with Dr Iravatham's Clinical Laboratory

The partnership will help integrate MedGenome’s flagship innovation SPIT-SEQ, with various tests offered by Dr Iravatham for Tuberculosis

MedGenome Labs, Dr Vedam Ramprasad, Tuberculosis, Infectious Diseases, Dr Iravatham's Clinical Laboratory, COVID-19, Xcyton Diagnostics, Dr Chitra Iravatham

MedGenome Labs Ltd is collaborating with Dr Iravatham's Clinical Laboratory (DICL) at Hyderabad to enhance the Tuberculosis diagnostics offering and gets ICMR approval for RT-PCR testing for COVID-19 with its current partner XCyton Diagnostics

One of the biggest problems that Indian has faced in the field of healthcare is in the area of infectious diseases. Before COVID-19 was recognised as a global pandemic, India was at the centre of the discussion on reducing global tuberculosis burden. With an immensely high prevalence of tuberculosis in India, the world is looking towards India to control the same. Indian government has set a deadline of ending TB by 2025. While India is one of the highest contributor to the global TB burden, the same nation, on the other hand, is looked upon as a proactive decision maker as far as controlling COVID-19 spread is concerned.

However, there are reports that show how the COVID-19 lockdown is taking us back to 2013 as far as our fight against TB is concerned. The lockdown may aggravate the existing TB burden as more TB patients may go undiagnosed and hence untreated.

With both these public health issues in focus, MedGenome Labs, India’s biggest genetic diagnostics lab collaborates with Dr Iravatham’s clinical laboratory in Hyderabad, a niche testing lab in the field of Tuberculosis diagnostics, strengthening its presence in infectious diseases testing. MedGenome’s partner Xcyton Diagnostics is also awarded the ICMR approval to undertake COVID-19 testing at its lab in Bengaluru.

Citing their strengths, Dr Vedam Ramprasad, CEO, MedGenome Labs, said, “Our collaboration with DICL is a milestone in TB testing ecosystem and we are committed to take more steps to integrate SPIT SEQ, our proprietary whole genome sequencing based test for diagnosis and drug resistance detection directly from sputum samples, into TB testing ecosystem.”

The partnership with Iravatham’s lab will help integrate MedGenome’s flagship innovation SPIT-SEQ, with various tests offered by Dr Iravatham for Tuberculosis and also set up a state of the art BSL2/3 infectious testing lab in Hyderabad.

“With India in the limelight as far as global TB burden is concerned, diagnosis and drug resistance detection take the centre stage. Offering a complete range of tests, right from smear microscopy to a sequencing-based test, will help shorten the time to diagnose, and lead to timely intervention,” said Dr Chitra Iravatham of DICL.

During the COVID-19 crisis, MedGenome has been at the forefront of the research side of COVID-19 crisis. The organisation undertook a joint research with SGRF,where genetic data of more than 300,000 individuals across the world were analysed to identify variations in the ACE-2 protein gene that are predicted to make individuals more susceptible or even protect from the virus. As published in Biorxiv, the team of scientists found protein altering variants that are predicted to bind to the virus less tightly and hence giving these individuals natural protection against the invading virus. The converse is also true; in this data set, we also found ACE2 variants that may render individuals more susceptible to the virus.