Nucleome Informatics today unveiled its advanced genomics facility, NKC Centre for Genomics Research in Hyderabad, meant to carry out the latest third-generation genome sequencing.

The new laboratory will play a critical role in fighting the pandemic by sequencing 5000 Covid genomes and 500 human genomes. Established in the memory of Nand Kumar Singh Chauhan, the late 6-time MP from Khandwa, it will also play a role in agriculture, animal husbandry and personalised precision medicine, among others.

Critical role

Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, along with Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Chauhan, inaugurated the laboratory today.

“Next generation sequencing can bring revolution in biological sciences and unprecedented progress to society. I have been informed that the centre will sequence 5000 Covid genomes and 500 human genomes for healthcare,” Rajnath Singh said.

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“With the addition of NovaSeq 6000 (the world’s largest short-read sequencing) and GeneTitan platforms, the Nand Kumar Chauhan Centre for Genomics Research laboratory will play a critical role in expanding the scope of our in-house services and allow seamless cross-platform services. We will soon begin to provide our in-house DrSeq suite of predictive genomics products in healthcare to analyse the data of RNA sequencing. We expect this to improve understanding and uptake of personalised and precision medicine in India,” Dushyant Singh Baghel, MD and CEO, Nucleome Informatics, said.

Genome sequencing

In 2020, Nucleome was the first laboratory in South Asia to procure the third-generation long-read sequencing platform, Sequel II, from PacBio. Nucleome became the first Indian organisation to partner in the prestigious multinational Vertebrate Genome Project of the G10K Consortium.

Nucleome started its journey as a genomics research service provider in 2013 and became one of India's top ten life science solution provider and Asia's top 20 biotechnology laboratory based in Hyderabad by 2016. It offers genomics and bioinformatics research services to the government and private research institutions. The company has completed several large genome sequences of cow, buffalo, mithun, tiger, swamp buffalo, snow leopard, Indian wild dog, insects and plants, and is engaged with a number of projects.

It is a chosen service provider for the World Bank-funded WGS project to sequence 200 bovine animals. The lab, along with the Wildlife Institute of India, sequenced the genome of the Great Indian Bustard and helped scientists in the genomic conservation of this critically endangered bird. Nucleome is currently conducting an Indo-Korean joint project under GITA of the Government of India to research and develop disease-specific markers for inherited retinal disorders. The project is jointly funded by the Department of Science and Technology, India, and the Ministry of Science, South Korea.