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MedGenome Collaborates with Darshan GIVA Foundation to Advance TB Diagnosis

Written by : Aishwarya Sarthe

March 21, 2024

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The partnership between MedGenome and Darshan GIVA Foundation aims to introduce a novel approach to TB diagnosis and treatment. 

MedGenome, a leading genomics company in South Asia, has joined forces with Darshan GIVA Foundation, a non-governmental organization, in a significant move towards improving tuberculosis (TB) diagnosis and treatment.

The partnership between MedGenome and Darshan GIVA Foundation aims to introduce a novel approach to TB diagnosis and treatment. 

This initiative focuses on providing free whole genome sequencing (WGS) testing to pre-diagnosed drug-resistant TB (DRTB) patients. 

The ultimate goal is to integrate WGS-based TB testing into India’s National Tuberculosis Elimination Programme and align it with the diagnostic recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to a spokesperson from MedGenome, "Our collaboration with Darshan GIVA Foundation marks a significant step towards revolutionizing TB diagnosis. By offering WGS testing to DRTB patients, we aim to validate the accuracy of this approach compared to existing diagnostic methods."

The project also involves validating the diagnostic results of WGS against gold standard tests such as Liquid Culture Drug Susceptibility Testing (LCDST) and Line Probe Assays 1 & 2 (LPA 1 & LPA 2).

Progress on TB Elimination

Darshan GIVA Foundation, in collaboration with government agencies and Mylan Pharmaceuticals, is spearheading this access intervention pilot. The project aims to support the Government of India's 2025 TB elimination goals by providing evidence-based recommendations for the use of WGS by clinicians. 

This will accelerate the testing phase by swiftly determining drug susceptibility in DRTB diagnosis, enabling customized and effective treatment for patients.

In India, WGS is primarily used for surveillance purposes. However, there is untapped potential in leveraging WGS to provide insights into drug susceptibility. 

The project aims to bridge this gap by generating data-based evidence to assess the concordance between MedGenome's WGS test, SPIT SEQ, and existing gold-standard diagnostic tests.

"Our hypothesis is that SPIT SEQ will significantly expedite the confirmation of DRTB diagnosis and determination of drug susceptibility, leading to tailored treatment for each patient," stated a representative from Darshan GIVA Foundation.

Advancing TB Diagnosis Technology

MedGenome's SPIT SEQ test offers a next-generation sequencing (NGS) based culture-free solution for diagnosing Multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). 

Unlike traditional methods that may take months to confirm TB and identify effective medicines, SPIT SEQ provides critical information in less than two weeks. 

This accelerated approach shortens the infectious period for patients but also aids in limiting the spread of the disease within communities.

TB remains a significant public health challenge globally, with recent data indicating it as the 13th leading cause of death worldwide and the second leading cause of death from a single infectious agent following COVID-19.

In recent initiatives, the Tamil Nadu Health Department partnered with the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) to eliminate tuberculosis by 2030. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) seeks to procure and supply diagnostic equipment for tuberculosis under IOCL’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Initiative.

During the National Health Writers and Influencers Convention (NHWIC-2024) held at AIIMS, Delhi, experts gathered to discuss innovations, challenges, and collaborative solutions in combating TB. Doctors emphasized that while TB is a serious health concern, it can be effectively treated with the proper medication and treatment regimen.


About Chime India

The College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME) is an executive organization dedicated to serving senior digital health leaders. CHIME includes more than 5,000 members in 56 countries and two US territories and partners with over 150 healthcare IT businesses and professional services firms. CHIME enables its members and business partners to collaborate, exchange ideas, develop professionally and advocate the effective use of information management to improve the health and care throughout the communities they serve. CHIME's members are chief information officers (CIOs), chief medical information officers (CMIOs), chief nursing information officers (CNIOs), chief innovation officers (CIOs), chief digital officers (CDOs), and other senior healthcare leaders. The CHIME India Chapter became the first international chapter outside North America in 2016 and is now a community of over 70+ members in India. For more information, please visit www.chimecentral.org

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