India’s first Heart Failure Biobank starts beating at SCTIMST in Kerala

The first Heart Failure Biobank in the country to study genetic, metabolomics and proteomic markers of health outcomes in heart-failure patients has come up at the National Centre for Advanced Research and Excellence in HF (CARE-HF) at the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology (SCTIMST) here.

Balram Bhargava, Secretary, Department of Health Research and Director General, Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR), will inaugurate the biobank on a virtual platform on August 5.

The HF Biobank, with sophisticated storage facilities for biospecimens, has been set up at ₹85 lakh and is one of the major components of the CARE-HF, the project won by the SCTIMST in 2018 from the ICMR, with a supporting grant of ₹5 crore.

Biobanks are an important resource of collections of high-quality biological human samples that can be used to understand molecular pathways, and to improve the diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of heart failure. The biospecimens include blood, serum and tissue samples obtained during open-heart surgery and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and genomic DNA collected from heart-failure patients.

Principal investigator of the project and Professor of Cardiology, SCTIMST, S. Harikrishnan said that the storage facilities include -4, -20, -80 degree Celsius freezers and a liquid nitrogen storage system that can store biosamples at –140 degree Celsius for years. Presently, there is facility to store nearly 25,000 biosamples.

The biobank activity is supervised by a technical advisory committee with a member from the ICMR.

Consent from patients

The biospecimens are collected after informed consent from patients who are willing to donate specimens. The de-identified samples stored and catalogued will be linked to clinical data such as physiological measures, imaging data like ECG, echocardiography, MRI and follow-up data, an official statement issued by the SCTIMST on Tuesday said.

The HF Biobank has already signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with InStem Bangalore for collaborative research in hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a disease which runs in families with thickening of heart muscles, it added.

Heart failure (HF) is emerging as a major health problem in India, with a reported mortality of nearly 60% at five years, which is higher than many common cancers. Indian patients are younger by 10 years and have more comorbidities.

More research

There is need for more research in the field of HF and it was in this background that the ICMR had initiated the CARE-HF project.

The official release said that researchers and clinicians interested in research related to HF can join collaborative research programmes with the HF program at the SCTIMST, subject to the approval of the ethics committee.

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Printable version | Sep 26, 2021 3:32:46 PM |

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