Avesthagen launches AVESTAGENOME


April 2, 2007

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Avestha Gengraine Technologies Pvt. Ltd., (Avesthagen) a leading biotechnology company today announced the launch of the AVESTAGENOME TM project, a unique project to build a complete genetic, genealogical and medical database of the Parsis.

In today’s biotechnology driven medical care, the quest for new, more effective therapies and diagnostic tools have become essential to understand linkages between genes, diseases and environmental factors. The comprehensive database arising out of this project will provide invaluable information on these linkages for all of humanity and not just for the Parsi community alone. The project results will find application in disease prediction and accelerate the development of new therapies and diagnostics. Parsis have been known to contribute towards the good of society at large and, once again, they are poised to make a momentous contribution.

Parsi Zoroastrians, who now number about 69,000 in India, are an in-bred population resulting from the discouragement of inter-community marriages. Such in-bred populations are required to more accurately implicate inherited genes for diseases.

Avesthagen and its partners will collect samples from the community members along with complete genealogical and medical information. The samples will be processed through the highly sophisticated genomics facility at Avesthagen, which is equipped with high-speed polymorphism analysis systems (Sequenom, U.S.A.’s MassARRAYTM) and ABI sequencers to identify the causative genes. The data will be statistically analysed through Avesthagen’s bio-informatics channels for processing and creation of the database.

Dr Villoo Morawala Patell, Founder and Managing Director, Avesthagen said that “AVESTAGENOME is a path breaking project which would be instrumental to establish linkage between genes, disease and environmental factors. It would help us predict diseases and would play a catalytic role in development of new therapies and diagnostics.”

This Rs.125 crores project is expected to be completed within 5 years and is being implemented by a body of eminent stakeholders and opinion leaders within the Parsi community and comprising leading industrialists, clinicians, scientists and others. Avesthagen will bring in seed capital in the form of its high throughput genomics and bioinformatics facilities and other special expertise.

Original article published here