Reliance Industries (RIL) is getting into genetic mapping space, says a Bloomberg report. The Indian conglomerate plans to make a healthcare trend launched by disruptive US ventures like 23andMe more affordable and extensive in India’s growing consumer market, the report added.
RIL will roll out a comprehensive Rs 12,000 ($145) genome sequencing test within weeks, said Ramesh Hariharan, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, Strand Life Sciences, which has developed the product. RIL had acquired the Bengaluru-based firm in 2021, and owns about 80% of the company.
The genome test, which is about 86% cheaper than other offerings available in the market, can reveal a person’s tendency to have cancers, cardiac, and neuro-degenerative ailments. It will also identify inherited genetic disorders.
The project, to bring affordable personal gene-mapping to 140 crore Indians, will potentially build vast biological data that can help in drug development and disease prevention. Hariharan said the new genome testing being rolled out by the Reliance Group will “set the standards” for India. With more genomic data, global drugmakers could potentially develop new drugs and have insight into how to better target existing therapies. This could be useful in genetically under-mapped India, for example in helping prove a genetic link to certain over-represented diseases in the country.