Colon cancer is less common in India than in the U.S., but it tends to affect younger people and to be more aggressive when it does occur. Indians with colon cancer also have different genetic mutations from the ones affecting patients who have been studied in Western countries, and whose information is the basis of most published data on the disease.
Doctors suspect that differences in the genome may help explain how colon cancer expresses itself in the two groups. A startup called Global Gene Corp plans to study Indian patients’ genomes to find out what those links may be and whether they yield clues to better treatment.
According to the company, just 0.2 percent of genomic data comes from India, even though it has 20 percent of the world’s population.
The situation is similar across much of the world. Though countries outside the U.S., Europe, and Japan make up 60 percent of the world’s population, they contribute less than 1 percent of sequenced genomic data globally, the company says.
This is largely because poor countries historically focused their health resources on managing and eradicating communicable diseases and did not establish programs like the Human Genome Project in the U.S. and Genomics England in the U.K.
Global Gene sees a business opportunity in this omission.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Taking Genomic Data Global