Avesthagen Limited, a biotechnology major that specializes in predictive, preventive and personalized healthcare through the convergence of food, pharma and population genetics, has entered into a four-year strategic alliance with Wipro Limited (NYSE: WIT, BSE: 507685, NSE: WIPRO), a leading global information technology, consulting and business process services company, for making its genetic testing portfolio commercial. The portfolio includes genome panels offering highly specific, disease-centric analysis for conditions including cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders and rare disease conditions.

Together, Avesthagen and Wipro will execute the project titled, “Cancer Risk Assessed by NGS profiling of Circulating free DNA and RNA for Lung Cancer Project related Genomics Sequencing services.” The Project will be jointly led by Avesthagen and Wipro where Wipro’s state-of-the-art Life sciences lab will perform initial processing of the samples, generate data on the latest Next- generation sequencing platforms, compile genomic sequences and analyze detailed molecular information using computational AI/ML based tools.

Wipro’s expertise across multi-disciplinary areas of genomics and biomarker discovery, will help Avesthagen in building well-regulated workflows during the development of CALiBRx® gene panels. The tests would be predominantly offered in super specialty clinics and hospitals that focus on oncological disorders. It will later strategically release diagnostic tools that address upper respiratory cancers such as head, neck and esophageal cancers. In the medium and long term, the project would lead to a new generation of genome-led medicine.

CALiBRx®- the 624 gene panel – will be available in the market from Q3 2022 and will target cancers and neurological conditions. It presents a targeted screening approach of 624 genes implicated in oncological conditions.

“Genomics based innovation is part of Avesthagen’s DNA. The Avestagenome Project® that we started in 2008 is the largest epidemiological study ever conducted on a consanguineous population worldwide. The diagnostic tools portfolio that we are launching today is the result of the collective knowledge we have amassed since and are looking forward to working with WIPRO to take clinical genetics based precision diagnostics to the people,” says Dr. Villoo Morawala- Patell, Founder, Chairman and Managing Director, Avesthagen Limited.

“We are excited to join forces with Avesthagen Limited. This partnership will leverage our Tarang Life sciences labs and R&D expertise, with the goal of identifying new disease specific biomarkers, improving genomic diversity, better healthcare outcomes and smart precision therapeutics,” says Mr. Srikumar Rao, General Manager and Delivery Leader, Wipro Engineering, Wipro Limited.

As per Cancer Statistics, 2020: Report From National Cancer Registry Programme, India, Lung cancer is estimated to account for over one lakh cases in the next five years in India, and almost half of the patients get diagnosed when the cancer has already spread to other parts of the body, thus critically reducing their chances of survival. This highlights the importance of identifying it at an early stage in order to increase the survival rate.

The India launch will be followed by expansion in South Asia, Southeast Asia and the MENA region in Q4 2022. Over the next decade, it will license its IP and product outcomes to digital health, pharma and food companies and Fortune 500 biotech companies.

By Prabeen