With over 8,000 beds and 41-odd hospitals in 55 countries, the Rs 900-crore Apollo Hospitals group, managing a network of specialty hospitals, clinics and pharmacy outlets, will soon be branching out a separate R&D wing. After commissioning and managing hospitals, the group aims to form a full circle in the healthcare segment by forming a separate R&D wing which is expected to have collaborations with premier global research organisations including the US-based National Institutes of Health (NIH).
”We will be setting aside about Rs 10 crore from our revenues, to be pumped into the R&D wing. Besides, we will be building up a team with scientists from the US and India to focus primarily on cardiac-related diseases initially,” C Prathap Reddy, chairman, Apollo Hospitals group, said. However, we would be scaling up the amount in the long term with focus on other diseases as well, he added. The group has over nine centres of excellence and the centre for cardiology and cardio thoracic surgery, is claimed to be the largest cardiovascular groups in the world.
”We are planning to have collaborations with the US-based NIH and a decision towards this is expected next week,” Reddy said.
The other focus of the R&D wing would work on altering the disease patterns through stem cell research and other life style methods; bring out standardized data for the alternate systems of medicine, which would be accepted by the international regulatory agencies.
Incidentally, Apollo Hospitals Group and the US-based Johns Hopkins Medicine International had announced their plans to undertake a collaborative study on cardiovascular diseases in India. ”The study is aimed at assessing and developing strategies for prevention and control of cardiovascular diseases and will investigate genetic variants associated with early onset of the same among Indians,” Reddy said. It will also focus on advanced technology that can be used for diagnosis and treatment.
This would be the first comprehensive study to look into the several theories that are attributed to higher rate of cardiovascular diseases prevalence in the country. This study will also look at administering a polypill to reduce risk factors in the case and control population.