Avesthagen launches Whole Genome Scanning

A whole genome scan of an individual would provide information to understand his/her own genetic make-up that would lead to an increased awareness about the predisposition to the disease(s), the company said in a statement.

The diseases that would be covered by the scan include major types of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, asthma and arthritis, it said.

The total cost of the WGS would be Rs 45,000 which is subject to revision based on volume, the company said.

The scan would be carried out on DNA extracted from saliva/buccal swab provided by the individual, the company said. The report would consist of a list of the various diseases to which the person is predisposed, and risk ratio of the disease occurrence and the association of the disease to the mutation, it added.

"The technology platform at Avesthagen is able to interrogate the genetic markers (SNPs and CNVs) across an individual’s genome to decipher the association of the markers to the diseases", it said.

"By employing a streamlined sample collection and delivery system, Indian customers will now have access to personalised genomics services, which until now were only available in the developed markets", the company said.

Avesthagen said it would leverage its expertise in genomics technology and state-of-the-art high throughput facilities for carrying out genomic analysis. The facility can process 200 samples per month, the statement said.

Explaining about DNA, the company said every organism, including humans, has a genome encoded by deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) that contains the biological information needed to build and maintain a living example of that organism.

DNA is essentially made of four kinds of molecules, called bases, it said. The bases are arranged in a sequential order to form a unit known as gene. The triplet of bases in the gene encode for amino acids that are building blocks of proteins that carry out most of the cellular activities, it said.

A change/mutation in the base-pair sequence of the gene(s) could indicate that either certain proteins are not formed or are processed differently, which may result in disease, it said. Measuring the mutation in the genes could tell us the risk (predisposition) of getting a particular disease in his/her lifetime, it said, adding disease risk is one way of describing the likelihood of a person developing a particular disease.

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