Updated on 23 August 2012
Mr Anubhav Anusha, MD, NutraGene, comments that, "All our individual tests cost below Rs7,500, and include complimentary genetic counseling. Our testing service includes complimentary genetic counseling to help customers and their physicians understand their genetic results, as well as complimentary wellness consultations that assess lifestyle and DNA risk and guide customers on diet, nutrition and lifestyle modifications aimed at lowering disease risks."
Avesthagen is another major player focusing on pharmacogenomics field. One of the major projects of the company is the AVESTAGENOME Project. It is a systems biology-based study of the Parsi population to determine genetic basis of longevity and age-related disorders. This study aims to develop a model for pharmacogenomics-based therapies, development of biomarkers for predictive diagnostics and drug discovery and to enable the archiving of the genome of the community. Avesthagen started this Rs125 crore project in 2007.
Dr Villoo Morawala-Patell, CEO, Avesthagen, says that, "Currently, we have metabolome-based signature of a set of biomarkers that would provide early diagnosis for breast cancer. We will soon be testing them in Indian population through a clinical study. The biomarkers discovered from the study on breast cancer, prostate cancer, neurological diseases - Alzheimer's and Parkinson's and metabolic / degenerative conditions through The AVESTAGENOME Project will be used to generate molecular diagnostic tests/kits that could be used to determine the suitability of a drug for the patient in a particular population."
Acton Biotech has been providing these tests for various diseases for the past six years. The company offers genetic tests to predict response from chemotherapy drugs such as gefitinib, cetuximab among many others. Mr Sandeep Saxena, founder CEO, Acton Biotech believes "Pharmacogenomics is not new in India. We have been offering tests for the last 6 years. Today, there are many labs offering these tests. It's a routine in cancer clinical and hospitals."
Bright future lies ahead
Despite the optimism expressed regarding the impact that this field might have on the health of people, many barriers need to be crossed. Researchers, diagnostic firms and regulatory authorities need to establish methodologies by which to judge their effectiveness. Application of genomic and personalized medicine in healthcare needs a change in regulatory system.