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As personalized, genomic medicine takes off, four developing countries show the way for others
Date:9/19/2008

e, and health ministries); legislators considering research funding; leaders of research institutions; individual scientists; investors and small and medium private sector enterprises in both industrialized and developing countries, and international organizations interested in the use of science and technology to accelerate global health equity, health security and economic development.

Mexico program most comprehensive

The most comprehensive genomic medicine program in an emerging economy is being spearheaded by Mexico's National Institute for Genomic Medicine (INMEGEN). It has genotyped over 1,200 people from different regions of Mexico, triggering a series of studies looking at possible relationships between genetic make-up and such health problems as macular degeneration, hypertension, obesity, infectious diseases, cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases (the latter three representing Mexico's top causes of death).

Mexican experts estimate genomic medicine has the potential to reduce diabetes-related healthcare costs alone by 36% between 2010 and 2025.

Individual variation has resonance with traditional medicine in India

The case study of India (which included additional co-authors Dr. Mitali Mukerji of the Institute for Genomics and Integrative Biology, India, and Dr. Samir K. Brahmachari of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India), says the idea of personalized therapeutics based on individual variation has existed for more than 4,000 years in India's traditional practice of Ayurveda medicine.

Four millennia later, a new national databank contains genetic samples from about 15,000 unrelated individuals from India's diverse geographic and linguistic subpopulations.

Meanwhile, an Indian life-sciences company, Avesthagen Ltd, has announced a five-year, $32 million project to genotype the country's entire Parsi population -- about 69,000 people. The Par
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
Program on Life Sciences, Ethics and Policy,McLaughlin-Rotman Centre for Global Health
Source:Eurekalert  

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