Trends and Developments Shaping the Future of Core Diagnostics
Founder & Managing Director – CORE Diagnostics
Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.
Diagnosis is not the end, but the beginning of practice.
Tell us about your journey into Healthcare?
The inception of CORE was based on a simple observation: while the “delivery system” of healthcare services had caught up with the western standards, clinical diagnostics had lagged behind the developed markets by almost a decade. There are a handful of large players and local small labsacross the country, none of them had either the skills or the incentives to move away from routine diagnostics. We saw a ‘white space’ in the market: the lack of availability of high-end diagnostics. We created CORE to bridge this gap.
We make advanced diagnostics available, affordable and accessible in India.
Why CORE has become trusted game changer in diagnosis and treatment for healthcare institutions/experts?
CORE has established itself as the largest, and the fastest growing company in high-end diagnostics with the broadest test menu of almost over 1500 tests in oncology, infectious diseases, gynaecology, etc. We are quickly expanding our test menu in urology, nephrology, neurology . As a regular initiative, CORE also run a comprehensive genetic counselling program for both patients and clinicians.
What is future of diagnostics- personalized treatment and evidence based medicine?
Technological advancements is bringing continuous developments in diagnostics industry. There is tremendous innovation in almost all clinical areas in diagnostics to ensure two things: accuracy AND consistency. Today, the problem is not only the inaccuracy, but extremely high inter-doctor, and intra-doctor inconsistency.
Let us know the current geographical presence and growth of CORE Diagnostics?
We view our charter much more broadly: to re-shape the diagnostic industry – in a manner that it becomes the central pillar of healthcare delivery. In India, CORE Diagnostics is present in over 120 cities in India, including major metrossuch as Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Kochi. We are also present in eight Asian countries -Dubai, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Uzbekistan, Oman, Kyrgyzstan – as well as several African markets.
CORE has built its brand identity as the clear innovation leader in Diagnostics, and is THE partner-of-choice for any Pharma company in conducting clinical trials.
Arethere any expansion plans to catering to the diagnostic needs of tier II and tier III cities?
We are currently expanding in a variety of ways. From expanding our geographical territories through various partnerships with Government, Pharma, and Health tech companies, to making preventative tests available and accessible to consumers that can be ordered directly. Also, we are adding new clinical areas enabled by latest, cutting-edge technologies in whole genome sequencing, proteomics, and more recently, metabolomics.
As we build out these capabilities, we are expanding our coverage in Tier II and Tier cities as well. The need is universal, and as we bring down our cost through innovation and volume, we will be well positioned to offer our service in these markets.
Growth in revenue for CORE especially in the field of chronic diseases especially cancer?
We have been growing 6-8% month-over-month, even in our sixth year of existence. This translates to nearly doubling every year.
Recent partnership with Promega Biotech to enhance stability?
With rising disease burden in India, CORE is making its best efforts to address the gaps of the underserved market of high-end diagnostics especially in the field of oncology.
CORE’s partnership with Promega Biotech, a US based innovation leader is to focus on the implementation of the Microsatellite Instability (MSI) technology for Immuno-Oncology. Microsatellite is usually present in advanced solid tumours. The technology plays a crucial role in selecting the most effective clinical intervention for detecting DNA mismatch-repair deficiency which further determines whether cancer patient is potentially eligible for immuno-oncology therapy.
What are the concerns for the growing diagnostics industry?
Diagnostics sector is highly un-organized and fragmented. It is mostly comprised of labs that are focused on routine or generic tests. As such, there is a dearth of talent in the area of high-end diagnostics. At CORE, we are continuously focused on developingthe right kind of talent organically and keeping them perpetually current in their knowledge.
Awareness amongst the clinicians, especially outside the big metros – regarding the importance of diagnostic, prognostics, and predictive tests is another key challenge.
It is one thing to offer a customer what they need. It is entirely different task to make them aware of what they need.
Research and innovation programme in the field of infectious diseases and oncology?
CORE’s major marketing events are at CME (Continued Medical Education) events that is to create awareness among our clients and share with them the latest practice and diagnostic tools available for their patients.
In addition to this, we participate in talks and through putting up a stall at conferences across the year based on products we would like to promote or in cities where we would like to meet more clinicians.
CORE has a quarterly newsletter that we send out talking about the things we do at CORE to our clinicians. We recently started an initiative to help clinicians learn if the latest scientific advancements called COREssence. Also have our monthly Case of the Month where we share with our clinicians all the interesting and unique cases that come to us each month to build us as thought leaders in the space. Moreover, CORE is striving to trigger a conversation around Indian perspectives on genetic mutation and its role in augmenting cancer risk .
Zoya Brar is the Founder and Managing Director at CORE Diagnostics, a high-end clinical laboratory focused on brining innovation to the diagnostic industry. Zoya founded CORE in 2012 when she was 23 years old. Her interest in precise disease stratification, therapy selection and to provide definitive diagnosis within shortest turnaround time, led her to found CORE. In a little over five years CORE has become synonymous with innovation in clinical diagnostics.Over the years, business has grown nearly 5% on a month-on-month basis and the start-up has raised a total of $16M in two rounds – Series A in 2012 of $5M and Series B in 2016 of $11M. Investors are Artiman Ventures in the bay area and Fidelity based in India and Boston.
Before succumbing to the entrepreneur-ship bug, Zoya hasworked at Google for two yearsin various roles in business development and customer outreach. This was preceded by a stint in the education sector, where Zoya worked at WLC College in business development and HR roles. She also has considerable experience in the Not-for-Profit sector working both as a hands-on individual contributor as well as in management and governance.
Zoya has a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Lady Sriram College, Delhi University. Having been brought up in Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Delhi in her early years, Zoya, in her own words learnt about leadership through osmosis and honed her leadership skills in various roles while writing for the Youth Parliament, organizing street plays, helping people with disabilities and several such initiatives while in school.
Zoya has spoken at a number of prestigious events including the Medtech Women conference in California, FICCI Heal at Delhi and VC Circle Conference at Bangalore. She has also been featured on a number of television shows including Awaaz Entrepreneur on CNBC and The Big Idea on Zee News.
Zoya is an avid reader and likes prose and poetry. She writes an occasional blog, and is writing her first book – a work of fiction.