INDIA- International Financial Corporation (IFC), member of the world bank group, is pumping US$ 16.5 million worth of funds into MedGenome, a genetic diagnostic and research company.
The financial boost and partnership are aimed at ensuring there is increase in access to COVID testing in India as well as provide leverage to research further about the virus, its variant and how to manage future pandemics.
IFCs investment in MedGenome is part of its US$ 4 billion Global Health Platform, which is providing financing to support the manufacturing and supply of vaccines, medical equipment, and therapeutics, as well as the logistics required to deliver vaccines and medications.
The corporation is a leading global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries. It advances economic development and improves the lives of people by encouraging the growth of the private sector in developing countries.
This funding comes at a time the world has realized that the Indian population data provides the ideal conditions for genetic research and makes it easier to identify common gene variants and the associated diseases.
Ever since the pandemic started, the world has seen the hurdles faced by India on account of its huge population.
The unique nature of the Indian population is that it has the ability to provide valuable insights into identifying and treat genetic disorders.
India is thus a genetic goldmine in comparison with countries such as Iceland, Finland which had the advantage of having started from a small number of colonizing individuals resulting in the number of disease-associated genetic variants to be relatively small for each individual disease.
Similarly, Indian population data provides the ideal conditions for genetic research and makes it easier to identify common gene variants and the associated diseases.
Discovering these disease-inducing genetic variants and adopting prenatal screening to determine carriers will play a major role in identifying and preventing these rare diseases.
Many companies in India now offer clinical genetic diagnostic tests to detect genetic disorders at an early stage making the management of the disease easier with the right targeted therapy.
Becoming aware of the need to identify these diseases at the right time and preventing them from passing on to the next generations is the need of the hour.
With India’s population being unique and valuable in understanding rare diseases, it is time for MedGonome to explore India’s unity in genetic diversity.