IIT Alumni Council, CSIR-IGIB to jointly conduct Covid-19 research, patient data analysis

Rajesh Kurup Mumbai | Updated on July 08, 2020 Published on July 08, 2020

The IIT Alumni Council has signed an agreement with CSIR Institute of Genomics and Integrative Biology (CSIR-IGIB) to jointly conduct Covid-19 research and patient data analysis.

The council has also handed over the world’s largest imaging data of 8,500 patients from the National Sports Club of India Dome (NSCI Dome) in Mumbai to CSIR-IGIB. This data will soon be available in de-identified form, on an open data platform, which is being set up by IIT Alumni Council, CSIR-IGIB and Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) to help in the research to bring the pandemic under control.

The NSCI Dome in Mumbai was earlier converted into a special observation zone for Covid-19 patients.

The joint research by CSIR-IGIB and IIT Alumni Council will focus on creating an ecosystem for Covid-19 diagnostics, therapeutics and preparedness. The ecosystem will enable a value chain with expertise, spanning digital health, Artificial Intelligence (AI), molecular diagnostics, next-generation sequencing, antibody harvesting, and production of monoclonal antibodies.

“Both the parties are viewing this partnership as an opportunity not only to create a world-leading testing and treatment ecosystem in the country but also to establish global data leadership. This would enable open data access to every scientist and innovator in the world for the development of bleeding-edge testing and treatment solutions,” Ravi Sharma, President and Chief Volunteer of the IIT Alumni Council, said.

“Together with IGIB, we will be able to create a high-security data architecture for health data. This partnership will help in our initiatives of setting up the world’s largest MegaLab in Mumbai for testing and India’s largest MegaTx antibody facility for treatment based on biologics. Further, this partnership will open the doors for newer forms and formats of collaboration between the government and domestic non-profits like IIT Alumni Council,” he added.

Members of CSIR-IGIB and IIT Alumni Council have been working on testing and discovering a treatment for Covid-19 since April 2020.

“I look forward to seeing the world’s largest and fastest molecular diagnostic line getting built in India with 100 per cent indigenous technology. Similar thinking would be needed to accelerate population-scale testing in rare genetic disorders, a problem that IGIB has been addressing for over a decade,” Anurag Agrawal, Director of CSIR-IGIB, said.

CSIR-IGIB (formerly Centre for Biochemical Technology) is a constituent laboratory set up by the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR).

The IIT Alumni Council is the largest body of alumni, students and faculty, spread across all 23 IITs and partnering Technical Institutes of Excellence (TieNet). It was formed last year for undertaking projects of social importance using technology.

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Published on July 08, 2020
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