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Need to streamline research on CRISPR Gene-Editing technology: Experts

ANI | Updated: Nov 18, 2021 02:55 IST

Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], November 18 (ANI): The endogenous manufacturing of CRISPR components, through greater research, would make India a commercially successful country in the field of Deep Science, according to Girish Krishnamurthy, CEO & MD, Tata Medical and Diagnostics Ltd.
Participating in a panel discussion on 'Gene-Editing On Centre Stage' at the 'Bengaluru Tech Summit 2021', Krishnamurthy opined that the therapeutics R&D is slow in India as compared to the West, hence seeking deeper research experiences is significant.
"The country also needs to address associated infrastructural issues like the building of cold storage, expanding supply chains and the sorts," he said.

The CEO also highlighted the misconception amongst people that CRISPR is meant for therapeutic and not diagnostic purposes and that it needs to change. With basic technology and market being the most crucial focal points, a large number of its applications are to be looked at, serving both urban and rural India.

Though grants are channelized from the Department of Biotechnology, Dr Saravanabhavan Thangavel, Assistant Investigator, Centre for Stem Cell Research, discussed the difficulty in attracting private funds to expand the CRISPR technology that deals with almost all primary deficiencies.

Talking about the guidelines existing on Therapeutic diagnostics and products, Dr Shambhavi Nayak, Head of Research, Takshashila Institution expressed the vagueness in the policy.
"The Government should move to a facilitator role, making markets more accessible" she added, referring to the potential for Gene-Editing in itself as a boon.

Dr Vaijayanti Gupta, Leas Scientist, CrisprBits Pvt Ltd., emphasized on the importance of understanding the licensing, patent rights, legal and ethical framework and the overall impact on health and well-being.
"As CRISPR is trying to hit single-cell and rapid diagnostics, investments from the private sector are essential to allow this space to develop from market angle", she said.

Working on CRISPR in plants, particularly Banana, Dr Siddharth Tiwari, Scientist, National Agri-Food Biotechnology Institute, said the enzymes used to target carotenes development are of prime significance.
" While the releasing of genetically engineered crops in India is in the hands of Government, the non-transgenic approach is being preferred recently," he told and stressed the need for a sustained effort to support the endeavours that can bring it to the common man. (ANI)