Mumbai

GenePath Diagnostics wins ₹2.5 crore grant

The city-based GenePath Diagnostics, a next-generation diagnostics company, has won the prestigious United States–India Science and Technology Endowment Fund (USISTEF) grant of ₹2.5 crore to develop a cost-effective and highly sensitive mass-scale processing platform for the detection of HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), which is said to be the chief cause of cervical cancer.

GenePath will develop the product over the next two years, said a statement released by the firm. The objective of the platform is to help detect pathogenic HPV strains from self-collected samples in low-resource, rural areas to help bring down mortality rates while reducing the burden on the country’s healthcare infrastructure.

Dr. Nikhil Phadke, founder and chief scientific officer of GenePath Diagnostics, said, “Cervical cancer is the second leading cause of cancer among Indian women, and one of the most common causes of cancer-related deaths in developing countries. The detection of HPV is widely accepted as a cervical cancer screening tool but strategies to implement it as a large-scale screening platform are limited by cost, social and healthcare barriers. To enable the widespread detection of HPV and typing for cervical cancer screening, it is necessary to have a point-of-care approach that can enhance the applicability, acceptance, and convenience of cervical cancer screening amongst the masses.”

‘Second-largest killer’

Dr. Phadke said that the virus was the second-largest killer of women from cancer, impacting 5,70,000 women globally every year with India having the most cases of any country in the world (97,000 cases and 63,000 fatalities in 2019).

GenePath’s state-of-the-art clinical laboratory in Pune will be overseeing the platform design, project management, system integration and clinical validation of each component.

The governments of the United States (through the State Department) and India (through the Department of Science & Technology) had jointly established the USISTEF for the promotion of activities that lead to innovation and entrepreneurship through the application of science and technology.

The aim of the fund is to support and foster joint applied R&D to generate public good through the commercialisation of technology developed through sustained partnerships between U.S. and Indian researchers and entrepreneurs.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 7:59:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/genepath-diagnostics-wins-25-crore-grant/article33179989.ece

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