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First Commercial Bio-Bank of India!

The aim of the joint venture between Apollo Hospitals and Saarum Innovations was the creation of a sophisticated bio bank as well as a personalized medicine company.

Shobana Kamineni, the Executive Director, New Initiatives, Apollo Hospitals and Sreevatsa Natarajan, CEO, Sapien Biosciences announced the details about this bio bank. Sapien Biosciences consists of collections of high quality and systematically archived human samples which can be used for new clinical and research and development applications.

About Sapien Biosciences

  • Sapien Biosciences is the first commercial bio bank of India, which is established as a JV between Apollo Hospitals and Saarum Innovations.
  • The role of Sapien Biosciences is to leverage the pathological and diagnostic data for developing state-of-the-art diagnostics as well as provide world class genetic risk assessment.
  • It will facilitate cell-related research assistance to various Pharma companies.
  • It is the 70:30 JV between Apollo Hospitals and Saarum Innovations.
  • The joint venture will invest around 25 crore Rupees by 2015 in order to scale up the operations.
  • The Sapien Biosciences will also provide the personalised treatment to patients, which will include detection of the genetic disposition of patients for early diagnosis of diseases.
  • It will have access to 50 different hospitals of Apollo for the process of collection of samples as well as tissues for bio bank.
  • Sapien Biosciences will also collect its samples from the research-oriented clinics as well as hospitals for bio-banking needs and personalised medicine.
  • Sapien Biosciences has also launched its first personalised product called MyPlatelet. This product helps in determining the response of a patient to the blood thinning medication. MyPlatelet will be used for measuring the genetic make-up of a patient as well as for suggesting the specific treatments.
  • India already has a few small-scale bio-banks, but this is the first commercial facility of India. There are around 150 large bio-banks in the world, which also include non-commercial and commercial ones apart from the non-profit bio-banks.

What is a bio-bank?

  • Bio-banks are very important from the biomedical research point of view.
  • There are various kinds of bio-specimens which include purified DNA, plasma, saliva and blood. All these bio-specimens are maintained in the bio-banks.
  • Actually, bio-banks are the libraries or the store house of the human organism.
  • Bio-banks catalog the specimens by making use of the genetic as well as other kinds of traits like ethnicity, blood type, gender and age.
  • Researchers of various organisations and firms can access these bio-banks in case they need the specimen that has similar kinds of traits for their research studies.
  • Bio-banks are also accessed by the clinics which perform the research studies and clinical studies.
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