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Mapmygenome Looks To Crack India’s Genetic Code In Covid-19 Fight

Mapmygenome Looks To Crack India’s Genetic Code In Covid-19 Fight

In the light of the Covid-19 pandemic, Mapmygenome broadened its gene panel tests to check for coronavirus-related immunity markers among Indians

Despite the potential of gene tech in the Indian healthcare ecosystem, inequality in genomic data for Indians makes operations challenging for genetic tech startups

Mapmygenome has managed to automate critical workflows such as collecting test samples and RNA extraction to offset increased costs and demand related to Covid-19 testing

In early May, a study published in the European Heart Journal said that while Covid-19 and the SARS CoV-2 virus infects a wide age group, it is predominantly seen in elderly individuals, especially men and those with cardiovascular disease. The study found that men have higher levels of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) in the blood, which helps the virus infect cells faster, thereby leaving men more vulnerable to the coronavirus.

The study was part of a diverse range of gene-centric research from across the world. Never before have the medical scientists of the world come together to fight something as one. But research takes time and scientific breakthroughs are much a result of trial and error as it is of brilliant minds.

“Because it is the first time [Covid-19], I think there have been a lot of missteps from everyone. A lot of resources have been drained out at all ends. I hope we can really take the learnings, document for the future and relook at the power centres,” says Anu Acharya.

The Mapmygenome cofounder recalls that even as India was only reading about the disease in January and February when the first cases were reported, the company decided to enter the preparation stage. “We told the team that we need to start preparing for and analysing our data to help our customers understand how to prevent themselves and build immunity from this virus,” added Acharya.