SRL Diagnostics' drive for innovation

A dedicated R&D innovation wing at SRL Diagnostic is developing tests for the diagnosis of not just diseases like TB, HIV and hepatitis, but also predictive tests for heart diseases

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One of the few diagnostic chains in India that have a dedicated R&D innovation center for developing new diagnostic tests, SRL Ranbaxy focuses on a number of relevant diseases such as tuberculosis, breast cancer, genetic disorders and more. The chain of SRL Diagnostics covers over 4000 diagnostic tests, performing over 50,000 tests per day, through an enviable network managed by more than 2,000 medical and scientific staff, including pathologists, radiologists and scientists. Mr BR Das, head of research and innovation, SRL, says assay development is their strength. "A lot of emphasis is put on quality and we are able to centrally control it through our established validation practices."

Mr Das, who is also an India's representative at the Global Association of Molecular Pathology says that the Innovation lab at SRL Ranbaxy has published 54 papers in international journals so far based on research conducted in hepatitis, tuberculosis, HIV, colon cancer, lung cancer and more. The center is also approved by DSIR as an R&D center. Speaking about the tests that are offered for TB diagnosis he says, "We we the first to use Cepheid's GeneExpert for TB diagnosis. We have also indigenously developed a PCR test for the same. Our R&D department also develops markers for different assays, which on being sufficiently validated in clinical trials, are incorporated into our diagnostic tests."

In the recent past, SRL Diagnostics has launched 15 gene sequencing based diagnostic tests. Recently an emphasis has been on predictive tests, such as one that is borne out of a collaboration with Asian Heart Institute. The Heart Ensure panel, allows for the detection of certain markers that indicate a susceptibility to cardiovascular disorders. Other advanced fields of testing include neonatal screening , wherein a blood sample is screened for 48 analytes, thus detecting any genetic or metabolic disorders.

In addition to being a diagnostic lab it also has facilities for conducting phase II to phase IV clinical Trials. The chain of SRL Diagnostics has 28 labs accredited by the NABL (ISO 15189), three labs accredited by CAP, six labs with ISO 9001:2008 certification from the International Certification Services and one laboratory accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Hospitals and Healthcare Providers (NABH).

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