Translational Research, Innovation and Social Impact
Strand Ramanujam: Next Generation Genomics to Precision Medicine
Strand Life Sciences stands out as a unique translational success story in India. It opens up the possibility of innovation driven from the higher educational establishment in India.
Eric Schmidt (The Chairman of Google-Alphabet) was asked recently why the US has been such a dominant innovator in the league of nations. His response was that the US higher educational system had figured out how to drive innovation all the way to commercial enterprise. He credited the early insights of post-war leaders like Vannevar Bush and later the Bayh-Dole Act that opened up entrepreneurship for researchers.
Strand has shown that this model could work in India and as the success of Strand has come to be known, we have seen an expansion of the faculty driven enterprises spinning off from IISc, JNCASR, etc.
In 2012, the founders and management decided to transform Strand into a new generation healthcare company. This bold strategic decision was motivated by the emerging impact of genomics in healthcare and the opportunity for a life sciences company with deep data science capabilities like Strand to push the envelope.
Today, Strand is a leader in precision medicine diagnostics, aimed at empowering cancer care and genetic testing for inherited diseases. Strand works with oncologists, pathologists, geneticists, and hospitals to enable faster clinical decision support for accurate molecular diagnosis, prognosis, therapy recommendations, and clinical trials. Strand’s lab in India is a CAP (College of American Pathologists) & NABL (ISO 15189: 2012) accredited NGS laboratory. Strand has already delivered over 6000 clinical reports in clinical genomics to physicians all over India and is heralding the arrival of precision medicine in India.
Over a period of 15 years, Strand has continuously built on and leveraged its proprietary AI platform, christened “Ramanujan” after two great intellectuals of Indian origin: S. Ramanujan (1887-1920) the genius mathematician who greatly contributed to number theory which has regained new significance in the age of computer technology and A.K. Ramanujan (1929-1993), the literature scholar and linguist extraordinaire.
Strand Ramanujan is representative of India’s ability to produce world-class AI platforms to aid in disease prevention, diagnostics, and treatment, and capable of competing with the likes of IBM (Watson Health™ and GE (Predix®). At the core of Ramanujan, is Strand’s proprietary natural language processing (NLP) platform Grammatica™ (Avadis Natural Language Processor) that powers Strand’s products, including the market-leading gene expression analysis software GeneSpring® (marketed by Agilent Technologies, Inc.), Strand NGS®, the powerful NGS data analysis and visualization platform, and StrandOmics™, enabling fast and accurate clinical variant interpretation and reporting.
Clinical Publications by Strand:
- StrandAdvantage test for early-line and advanced-stage treatment decisions in solid tumors, Cancer Medicine, April 2017
- Genotype-Phenotype Analysis in an Indian Family Affected with Li-Fraumeni Syndrome-Role of Genetic Counselling, International Journal of Human Genetics
- Incidental Findings in Male Breast Carcinoma: A Genetic Counseling Approach, International Journal of Human Genetics
- Homozygosity mapping guided next generation sequencing to identify the causative genetic variation in inherited retinal degenerative diseases, Journal of Human Genetics, Nature Press
- Genetic studies in a patient with X-linked retinoschisis coexisting with developmental delay and sensorineural hearing loss, Ophthalmic Genetics
- Next-generation sequencing-based method shows increased mutation detection sensitivity in an Indian retinoblastoma cohort, Molecular Vision
- Identification of a novel glucokinase mutation in an Indian woman with GCK-MODY, The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology
- Detection of high frequency of mutations in a breast and/or ovarian cancer cohort: implications of embracing a multi-gene panel in molecular diagnosis in India, Journal of Human Genetics
- Meta-Analyses of Microarray Datasets Identifies ANO1 and FADD as Prognostic Markers of Head and Neck Cancer, PLoS ONE
- Recurrent and novel GLB1 mutations in India, Gene
- An integrated transcriptomics and proteomics study of Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma – methodological and analytical considerations, bioRxiv
- Release of (and lessons learned from mining) a pioneering large toxicogenomics database, Pharmacogenomics
- Identification of Novel Mutations in ABCA4 Gene: Clinical and Genetic Analysis of Indian Patients with Stargardt Disease, BioMed Research International
- Metabolite profiling in posttraumatic stress disorder, Journal of Molecular Psychiatry, 3:2
- Bioinformatics, Systems Biology and Systems Medicine, in Genomic Medicine: Principles and Practice, Second Edition, Edited by Kumar D and Eng C, Oxford University Press, USA