Apollo Unveils Cutting-edge Genomics Institute in Kolkata

Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals Kolkata, a leading healthcare provider renowned for its commitment to innovation and patient-centric care, proudly launched its newest facility – the Apollo Genomics Institute (AGI) on 29th February. This significant milestone marks Apollo’s continued dedication to advancing genetic healthcare and personalised medicine.

The Apollo Genomics Institute, initially established in Mumbai, Delhi, Hyderabad, and Chennai, has now extended its reach to Kolkata. It aims to address the increasing prevalence of genetic disorders and the need for early disease identification and prevention in the region.

The launch of its Kolkata branchfeatured distinguished speakers including Dr. Anupam Sibal, Group Medical Director of the Apollo Hospitals Group; Dr. Mahesh Kumar Goenka, Director of Gastrosciences and Medical Education; and Dr. Rohit Bhojaraj, Vice President of Children, Genomics, and Clinical Operations. Also present were Mr. Rana Dasgupta, CEO-Eastern Region, Apollo Hospitals Group; Dr. Surinder Singh Bhatia, Director Medical Services – Eastern Region; and Dr. Saswati Mukhopadhyay, Consultant Clinical Geneticist at Apollo Multispeciality Hospitals, Kolkata. The event also included a symbolic lamp-lighting ceremony, marking the beginning of a new era in genomic medicine.

Regarding the inauguration of the institute at Kolkata, Dr. Preetha Reddy, Executive Vice Chairperson of Apollo Hospitals Group, said, “India is a highly diverse heterogeneous country, and as a result, genomic medicine could have transformative potential. With decreasing infant mortality rates, genetic disorders are emerging as an important group of diseases. According to a 2021 report by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the number of diseases in India that are globally recognised as rare diseases encompass around 7,000 to 8,000 disorders.”

Elaborating on the increasing demand for genomic medicine, she further added, “Today, as our population gets more health conscious, we’re also seeing increased awareness amongst individuals around the value of genomic tests in the prevention and diagnosis of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) and genetic diseases, such as diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disorders amongst others. The expansion of the Genomics Institute is a critical step towards the prevention and management of NCDs, which continues to be a significant public health challenge in India and around the world.”

Ms. Suneeta Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals Group, said “At Apollo, we believe that patients need to be brought to the forefront of the decision-making process concerning their health journey. Constantly increasing the availability of real-world data sources coupled with patient-centric analytics offer deeper insights into how they are diagnosed, treated, and beyond. Genomics is one such area. On the back of increasing NCDs, the greater availability of patient-level data helps practitioners better understand the patient journey. This also enables personalisation in medicine by leveraging genetic insights, immensely impacting decisions made regarding the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases. At Apollo Genomics Institute, our focus on preventive care and personalised medicine underscores our commitment to a more resilient and healthier society.”

India has 20 per cent of the world’s global population. It, however, contributes only 0.2 per cent of the global genetic database. Apollo Genomic Network is planning to launch a genomic variant database to collate and secure the genomic data generated securely. The Pan-Apollo Genomics Network is also actively involved in academics and research activities. AGI holds weekly case discussions, peer-to-peer learning, monthly grand rounds, journal clubs and healthcare seminar series.

Since NCDs continue to be one of the leading causes of death and suffering, contributing to 65 per cent of deaths in India, Apollo is committed to making preventive healthcare a national priority. The Apollo Genomics Institute’s ultimate goal is to transform the future of healthcare in India by providing access to precision and personalised medical care.