Kochi-based biotechnology startup develops test kit for genomic analysis

  • | Monday | 25th October, 2021

Kochi, Oct 25 (PTI) As the country continues to grapple with the aftermath of the second wave of COVID-19, a Kochi-based biotechnology startup has developed a test kit for genomic analysis which it claims can help predict chances of developing severe disease if infected. COVIGENE, developed by technology-driven, genome -based wellness enterprise SAGENOME on its OhMyGene platform, will provide sufficient information that will help individuals prepare well for treatment to ensure correct management, the startup said. "It provides a test of genetic variations that can help predict COVID disease severity," SAGENOME said in a release. Incubated at the Integrated Startup Complex (ISC) of the Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM) in Kochi, SAGENOME is helmed by Dr M Ayyappan, former CMD of HLL Lifecare Limited (HLL), and Prof. M Radhakrishna Pillai, who retired as the director of Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB). Pillai said COVIGENE provides data on possible prediction of the disease course based on the profile of four genes. "Till now, the understanding of COVID-19 severity has been limited to the use of clinical risk models. Addition of a genetic profile to the clinical modelling will be immensely useful. COVIGENE will also be useful for elderly persons and those having comorbidities including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) and cancer," Pillai said. He said the company focused on identifying and validating gene variants associated with COVID-19 severity and used this research tool to predict if a person has a higher genetic chance of developing a serious disease. PTI RRT BN BN

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