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Cancer – Willing to help Kerala; says Illumina, a California based Bio-tech company

San Diego – An American biotechnology company is willing to help Kerala for researching and diagnosing cancer and other genetical diseases. The company named Illumina based out of San Diego, California, United States showed willingness in co-operating with Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology to facilitate better genetic research and to provide new generation technologies for medical diagnosis. Illumina is one of the pioneers in human genome sequencing for diagnosing cancer and other genetic deceases like autism.

Their sequencing services are being used all over the world in various fields such as Oncology, agriculture, reproductive health, etc. Illumina’s technology and instruments are also being used in precision medicine technology which helps to envisage current and future health conditions of the human body by sequencing DNA and RNA. Precision medicine technology is based on making medicine unique to each individual taking into account their health and chemical balance of the body. The inclination to cooperate in research was conveyed in the meeting held at Illumina between former Mizoram Governor Mr.Kummanam Rajasekharan and VP of clinical genomics department Mr. Ryan Taft.

During the meeting, Mr. Kummanam conveyed his concern over the increasing rate of cancer in Kerala. He also handed over the ‘letter of intent’ from Rajiv Gandhi Center for Biotechnology, an autonomous Institute of the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India expressing interest in working with Illumina. Ryan Taft explained about the research programs Illumina is doing in detecting cancer and other genetical disorders in various countries as part of their iHope program. Population genomics is one of the major programs Illumina has engaged in many countries and according to them this program would be beneficial to Kerala too especially considering the higher increase in the cancer patients. Sandra explained their clinical program conducted recently in Mexico, a neighboring country of the United States.

Kummanam visited Illumina Head Quarters at San Diego, California and took a tour of the facility to better understand the various sequencing technologies, instruments and also their zero-waste program. This was followed by a meeting with Illumina leaders. Kummanam expressed his appreciation on behalf of Keralites to Illumina leaders for their inclination to corporate in the genome research. Sandra Balladares (Manager Global Oncology Marketing), Jen Carroll (Director Public Relations), Syam Sankar (Senior Systems Manager Supply Chain), Anita Pottekat (Scientist Array Assay Development) and P. Sreekumar (Journalist) took part in these conversations.


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