Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray on Wednesday inaugurated Next Generation Genome Sequencing (NGS) at the Nair Hospital.
Next generation Genome sequencing (NGS) is a method of characterization of pathogen. This technology is used to determine the order of nucleotides in entire genomes or targeted regions of RNA or DNA. This helps in understanding the differences between two strains of the virus, thereby identifying mutants. Its specialty is a large number of samples that can be processed in a short period of time at high speed.
In the current pandemic, this test has many benefits especially in hotspots, and in unique clinical presentations. Identification of mutants, variants in the virus can be established enabling public health policy decisions.
The equipment has been donated by Illumina, USA through Albright Stonebridge Group(ASG). (Boston) and ATE Chandra Foundation. This was facilitated by Nair alumnus Dr Mehul Mehta retinal surgeon at Havard Medical School and CEO of ASG.
Illumina has donated two of the newest next generation genome sequencing 9 Nextgen 2000), Next Seq reagents, a rapid bioinformatics analysis platform (DRAGEN) platforms), and four years of service support worth 6.4crores. This is Illumina’s broader philanthropic program to provide access to NGS technology throughout the world. This will allow a better response to fight the Covid pandemic.
Every batch for testing will comprise of 384 samples and the time to results is 4 days.
CM also inaugurated Spinraza
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) encompasses a group of inherited progressive, degenerative neuromuscular disorders, in which children die at a young age due to respiratory failure or they are wheelchair-bound for a lifetime.
Direct Relief is a California-based nonprofit NGO that is providing the new drug Nusinersen (Spinraza) for the treatment of SMA under Spinraza Individual Patient Humanitarian Access Program (SIPHAP). An independent, international Medical Expert Committee (MEC) of SMA specialists selected 17 most eligible candidates for Spinraza.
Drug will be imported by August for administering it to patients. Seven doses are given in the first year of the treatment, followed by three doses every year after, for the rest of the patient's life. All injections will be administered by the intrathecal route. At present, a single dose of injection of Spinraza costs Rs 87 lakhs. The total Annual cost of the therapy for one patient is nearly 6 crore in the first year and nearly 3.2 crore in subsequent years. Once selected the patient will receive this therapy lifelong.
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