Lord's Mark Industries partners with the IIT-B to revolutionize testing for sickle cell disease.
Photo Caption - (From left to right) - Ms. Dikodvi Bari, Head - Technical and Operations, Lord's Mark Industries, Dr. Oshin Sharma, Researcher and Co-inventor of the technology, IIT Bombay, Mr. Manav Teli, Executive Director, Lord's Mark Industries, Mr. Tarun Kumar, Group Director, Lord's Mark Industries
MUMBAI, May 25 (The CONNECT) - Diversified business group Lord's Mark Industries has partnered with the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay (IIT-B) to revolutionize testing for sickle cell – a hemoglobin disorder . The first-ever AI-enabled POS equipment in the country, patented by IIT Bombay, will address challenges associated with sickle cell testing, making it more accessible and convenient with 100% accuracy.
According the WHO, Sickle-cell anemia (also known as sickle-cell disorder or sickle-cell disease) is a common genetic condition due to a hemoglobin disorder – inheritance of mutant hemoglobin genes from both parents. Such haemoglobinopathies, mainly thalassemia and sickle-cell anemia, are globally widespread. About 5% of the world’s population carries genes responsible for haemoglobinopathies.
Sickle-cell anemia is particularly common among people whose ancestors come from sub-Saharan Africa, India, Saudi Arabia and Mediterranean countries. Migration raised the frequency of the gene in the American continent, the WHO says.
As per an announcement made today, Lord's Mark Industries will invest Rs 25 crores to develop and distribute the technology-enabled POS equipment, targeting revenue of Rs 100 crores by year 2026-27.
Lord's Mark Industries will use its in-house R&D team to manufacture the sickle cell POS instrument at its IVD manufacturing facility in Vasai. The equipment will be available in government healthcare centers, pathology labs, and Lord's Mark Industries' pathology labs throughout the country.
Sachidanand Upadhyay, Founder, Lord’s Mark Industries said, "Through this collaboration with IIT-B, Lord's Mark Industries is committed to providing innovative and effective solutions to sickle cell testing across India, especially in rural regions. We are also investing in the establishment of 1000 pathology labs across the country, with an initial investment of Rs. 50 crores, to provide easy access to sickle cell testing and other healthcare services. With the support of the Central Government, we aim to make equipment and testing available across government healthcare centers and hospitals.”
The microscopy-based test developed by renowned Prof. Debjani Paul and her team from the Dept. of Biosciences & Bioengineering at IIT-B can distinguish between healthy, sickle trait, and sickle anemia blood samples at the point of care. The collaboration between IIT-B and Lord's Mark Industries aims to revolutionize sickle cell testing in India, providing improved disease diagnosis and management for patients across the country at the point of primary care itself thereby reducing costs and enabling a convenience for affected population. This is the only microscopy test that can actually distinguish carriers from individual who have sickle anemia within 30 minutes. Typically it would take 24 – 48 hours to identify the carriers.
The technology is a game changer in tackling sickle cell screening challenges in the affected regions, said Dr. Oshin Sharma, Researcher, IIT Bombay, Combined with Lord's Mark Industries capabilities, the technology will make a significant impact on improving the lives of millions of patients suffering from sickle cell anemia in the country, he remarked.
The Indian government has taken measures to improve sickle cell anemia detection and treatment in central and southern regions such as Gujarat, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Telangana. Measures include newborn screening, a national eradication campaign, clinical trials, and premarital counseling protocols. The Ministry of Tribal Affairs has circulated advisories, and Rs. 60 crores has been released to the States seeking grants to tackle the disease, including screening.
In line with these efforts, the partnership between Lord's Mark Industries and IIT Bombay is a significant step towards combating sickle cell disease in India. The collaboration aims to improve the screening and diagnosis process, making it more accessible and convenient for patients. This will promote early intervention and improve disease management, contributing to the efforts of the Indian government to eradicate the disease.