India’s first autoimmune diagnostics lab launched in KeralaAugust 5, 2019
Immucare Diagnostics, a research-oriented diagnostics laboratory dedicated to supporting the medical fraternity and patients suffering from all types of autoimmune diseases, has been launched in Kerala. The autoimmune testing lab, a pioneering venture in India, has opened its first facility in Kochi. IMMUCARE seeks to blend high-end technology with the strong expertise of experienced clinicians, pathologists and scientists to address the unmet need of diagnosing autoimmune disorders, a complex health condition that is on the rise in the country.
Launched by Kerala’s most reputed rheumatologist, Dr Padmanabha Shenoy, and well-known science entrepreneur Sam Santhosh — Founder & Chairman of MedGenome Inc, a global leader in personalised medicine with unique genomic solutions, along with Dr Aparna Jairam, India’s leading pathologist and a diagnostics industry veteran, the new venture is positioned as a referral lab catering to the needs of diagnostic labs, hospitals and doctors across the country. It is also positioned as a Centre of Excellence with its strong focus on research in the area of autoimmune diseases.
Immucare Diagnostics Pvt Ltd, a joint venture between Dr Shenoy-led Care Hospital and MedGenome, aims to provide accurate, precise and timely diagnostic analysis and prognostic information to clinicians and patients to help and support the community from the adverse effects of autoimmune and associated ailments.
“With the soft launch of Immucare labs, a dream project is taking shape. A centre of excellence, where all the tests to diagnose and treat autoimmune diseases are available under one roof, was a dream that we have been working on for more than a year,” said Dr Shenoy, Director, Immucare, while launching the website of the new lab.
He added: “State-of-the-art technology to perform cell-based assays, genetic tests and autoantibody detection, combined with a well experienced and committed team of professionals, makes this venture unique. Our aim is to help all doctors, including rheumatologists, neurologists, nephrologists, gastroenterologists and dermatologists, deal with autoimmune diseases better.”
Commenting on Immucare vision, Dr Aparna Jairam, Chief Executive Officer, said: “We have a very strong focus on hiring and retaining qualified, experienced manpower to drive our different departments within and outside the labs. We believe in understanding the requirements and challenges faced by the medical fraternity while addressing the area of autoimmune diseases.”
“Despite our size, we are keen to maintain an environment that nurtures some of the top thinkers in India in their respective fields of expertise. To support us in this venture, we have a team of medical advisors who are experts in their respective domains,” she said, adding: “We are passionate about developing innovative, ground-breaking tests, products and tools to enhance patient care, provide value to our clients, and transform information into knowledge and insights.”
The most known autoimmune diseases in India include certain types of thyroid diseases— Grave’s and Hashimoto’s, inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and skin diseases such as psoriasis and vitiligo. There is also a growing number of women at reproductive age being diagnosed with autoimmune diseases such as lupus and APS, adversely affecting fertility and in some cases also leading to miscarriage, foetal death and premature birth. The disease starts when the body’s immune cells, which are supposed to fight invading germs and toxins, turn against own cells. It can affect almost all organs in the body, and affects multiple organs more often than not. Global estimates show that nearly 700 million people currently suffer from some kind of autoimmune disease, with stages ranging from mild, moderate to severe. These disorders were not given adequate attention in India in the past mainly due to a lack awareness.