Kochi: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday inaugurated a cancer diagnostics and research centre here, which is slated to be the country’s first oncology laboratory for comprehensive cancer diagnostic services.
Karkinos Healthcare’s advanced centre for cancer diagnostics and research will serve as a central lab for analysing specimens at molecular and genomic levels to aid in personalised targeted therapy, predicting possible response to treatment and evaluate response by liquid biopsy.
Inaugurating the lab on the third floor of the JLN Stadium Metro Station at Kaloor here, Vijayan said the state is encouraging more private-public partnership in the healthcare sector to benefit people.
“Latest healthcare facilities should be made available for people at reasonable cost. This facility will be a boon for society. Private-public partnership in any sector will always be good for society. The government’s policy is to welcome private investments which will be beneficial for the state and its people,” Vijayan said.
While presenting the outline of the facility to the dignitaries, Dr. Moni Abraham Kuriakose, co-founder, medical director and CEO (Kerala operations) of Karkinos Healthcare said, the centre is the dedicated research lab for Karkinos Healthcare.
“The focus is on early diagnostic tools, molecular assays for precision medicine, which are not readily available in the country,” Kuriakose said.
The Tata Group is investing Rs 110 crore in Karkinos while Rakuten Medical, the global clinical stage biotechnology company, Mayo Clinic and Reliance Digital Health, hold minority stakes.
Venture Capital fund Endiya Partners also has a stake in the company, he said.
Sundar Raman, co-founder of Karkinos Healthcare, said the estimated number of new cancer patients in India is 13.2 lakh and the existing number of cancer patients is three-times of this number.
“The catastrophe is that diagnoses are happening at a late stage which is increasing the cost of treatment and lowering the cure rate,” Raman said.
“Karkinos attempts to bring synergy in distributed healthcare infrastructure through technology, so that cancer screening can be done at the community level and patient care becomes coordinated and seamless through the Karkinos Command Center,” Raman said.
Karkinos Healthcare has installed the most advanced high-throughput HPV assay equipment, Cobas 6800, in this centre with the ability to test over 1,200 Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) assays of all high-risk types.
It has partnered with organisations such as Kerala Federation of Obstetrics and Gynaecologic to support the World Health Organization’s mission of eliminating cervical cancer by 2030.
Karkinos Healthcare has Ratan Tata, Venu Srinivasan, Kris Gopalakrishnan, Ronnie Screwvala, Vijay Shekar Sharma, and Bhavish Agarwal amongst its set of investors. PTI