From 2013 to 2020, the Philippine Department of Science and Technology-Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) has invested more than PHP 995 million (USD 20 million) for R&D projects and initiatives dedicated to Omic technologies for health. DOST’s investment in Omic R&D includes the Philippine Genome Center (PGC) and its satellite facilities that provide high-quality and ultra-modern sequencing and analytical services to the Philippine scientific community.
Using Omic technology platforms to develop local technologies for personalized medicines, diagnostics, and therapeutics is a priority R&D area for DOST-PCHRD. Omic medicine is a fast-paced, emerging technology and the forefront study of individual body information, such as genome, proteins, and metabolites. An in-depth understanding of an individual’s DNA content, proteins, and metabolic content and processes contribute to the body of knowledge to efficiently detect and treat diseases of human beings.
According to Dr. Jaime Montoya, DOST-PCHRD Executive Director, “Specifically, with genomics, we can check whether the drugs we are giving, really work for us. We can even develop medicines tailored to the individual patient based on predicted response or risk of disease. Genomics can also help us develop more affordable diagnostic kits that can diagnose diseases early on, like dengue or malaria, so that early intervention can be given, and therefore save more lives.”
The role of DOST and its R&D initiatives have become more pronounced during the COVID-19 pandemic as the DOST-backed Philippine Genome Center has become crucial in detecting coronavirus variants in the Philippines.
(Sources: Department of Science and Technology; Manila Bulletin)