State plans bio-IT centre for human genome sequencing

Strand Life Sciences to spearhead the Rs 32 crore centres activities

 
The State is setting up a pioneering Bio-Informatics Centre of Excellence for Human Genome Sequencing —— the first in the country —— to make the most of information technology in biotech as part of its Bio-IT initiative.

Speaking to Deccan Herald, State IT, BT & ST Principal Secretary Ashok Kumar Manoli said the centre would be housed at the Institute of Bio-informatics & Applied Biotechnology (IBAB) premises housed at the Biotech Park in Electronics City.

The centre, he said, is to be set up at a cost of Rs 32 crore through the ubiquitous public-private-partnership model. While the Centre’s Department of Biotechnology (DBT) has provided Rs 10 crore, the State government has chipped in with Rs 10 crore, with the rest coming up from the private partner —— Strand Life Sciences including IBAB, he added.

Training background

Strand Life Sciences Chairman & CEO Vijay Chandru told Deccan Herald that the centre would come up on a 10,000 sq ft area for which the company would be providing necessary infrastructure, key staffing besides training and intellectual property (IP) background. “Since were are into Bio-IT we will be spearheading the initiative along with IBAB and other scientists,” he added.

According to Manoli, the centre, in the first phase would be actively engaged in second and third generation human genome sequencing research and development, besides world-wide patenting and IP creation, while, in second phase, get into commercial exploitation.  

Autonomous institution

The centre would be an autonomously run institution, scientists would be reporting to government nominees every quarter on strides being made. Once the centre becomes fully functional, Manoli said, the State would knock on DBT doors for more funds. Besides research focus on human diseases, it would facilitate in scaling down time taken in drug discovery as also speedy productisation of discovery into market to combat diseases.

Stating that Strand is engaged in design and setting up of laboratory, Chandru said the centre would be up and running in six months time. “We need to follow GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) standards and protocols for human bio-samples and data that will be collected for US’ Federal Drug Authority approvals,” he added pointing out since we are leaders in Bio-IT we are spearheading the initiative.

Strand Life Sciences is a pioneer in discovery research informatics and premier life science informatics innovation company  whose core strengths and intellectual property lies in data mining, predictive modelling, bioinformatics, and computational chemistry to develop products and solutions for drug discovery.

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