As India emerges from the devastating second wave of the Coronavirus pandemic, IFC is partnering with leading genetic diagnostics and research company, MedGenome, to increase access to COVID-19 testing, and support research to better help understand the virus, its variants and manage future outbreaks.
IFC’s $16.5 million (~₹123 crore) equity investment will support the expansion of MedGenome’s diagnostic services, including COVID-19 testing, as well as boost genomic data from South Asian populations, which can help provide valuable insights into complex diseases and help develop effective medical solutions for diverse populations.
“Fast, reliable and extensive testing is one of the most important steps to end the pandemic,” said Sam Santhosh, Founder and Chairman of MedGenome. “India will not only need to handle future waves of the pandemic but also cater to millions of people who will continue to be affected by post-COVID illnesses. With IFC’s support, we will continue to expand our services across India, bringing tests directly to the communities most affected by the pandemic, and finding genetic variants that might be making some people more susceptible to severe COVID-19 infection and post-COVID illness.”
MedGenome is also working on genetic sequencing with research laboratories affiliated with the government of India in order to help monitor the evolution of the Coronavirus, identify new variants, and help develop effective treatments to contain the disease. In April 2021, the company’s research effort led to a publication that identified gene variants that can influence people’s susceptibility to COVID-19.
“Our partnership with MedGenome comes at a critical time when India is facing an unprecedented crisis because of COVID-19,” said Makhtar Diop, IFC’s Managing Director. “This investment will help increase access to reliable testing and monitoring of the virus, as well as identify life-saving treatments. Our overall aim is to help India strengthen its healthcare systems, build resilience, and ramp up recovery from the pandemic.”
The investment in MedGenome is part of IFC’s $4 billion (~₹29, 820 crore) Global Health Platform, which is providing financing to support the manufacturing and supply of vaccines, medical equipment, and therapeutics, as well as the logistics required to deliver vaccines and medications.