Seminar with Dr. Kshitij Kumar Singh

Making precision medicine a global reality by recognising the stakes of LMIC: Reflections from India

AbstractPhoto of Kshitij Kumar Singh

Precision medicine registered significant progress since the release of the First Draft of the Human Genome Project with technical advancements in sequencing approaches and a continuous drop in the cost of genome sequencing. However, the lack of diversity in the genetic datasets limits its impact on the real world as selective sequencing within and among countries excludes a large segment of the world population. Moreover, the precision medicine advancements are mostly restricted to High-Income countries (HIC) with a minimal presence in Lower and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC). It would further expand the health disparities between HIC and LMIC. Diversity in genomic research is essential from a scientific perspective too, as diverse genomic variability across the human population is pertinent to realise the full potential of precision medicine. It would, therefore, be in the interest of HIC to engage with the LMIC to better understand the biology of diseases. COVID-19 exemplifies how a unified approach to the pandemic through sharing and collaboration leads to meaningful results.

India has a gene pool of 4000 population groups and a heavy share of inherited diseases. It reflects a wide range of challenges relating to precision medicine in LMIC. With a thriving start-up culture, strong IT base, and an excellent pool of scientists and medical experts, India holds the potential to become a hub for precision medicine. However, to translate this potential into practice, India needs to address numerous challenges: affordability and accessibility of precision medicine to the average population, unorganised health and insurance sector, fragmented research structure (individual research-driven), uncertain IP policies (largely untested in the context of precision medicine) and sub-optimal regulatory system. In addition, genetic literacy and awareness among patient's/research participants and trust in the healthcare system are primary challenges. India makes significant progress by emphasising predictive and promotive health care, innovative and multi-prong approaches to collaboration, and science diplomacy in its National Health Policy and the Genome India Project 2020 (aiming at reference genome in a phased manner). However, a dedicated policy framework for precision medicine helps translate its potential into practice.


Please register no later than the 23 May 2022 at 10:00 CEST using this registration form


Kshitij Kumar Singh is an Assistant Professor at Campus Law Centre, Faculty of Law, University of Delhi. He earned his LL.M. and PhD degrees from Banaras Hindu University and received Canadian Commonwealth Scholarship Asia-Pacific 2010. As a Visiting Researcher, he visited the Faculty of Law, University of Western Ontario, Canada, in 2009 and 2010. His primary area of interest is the intersection of law and biotechnology, particularly ethical, legal and policy issues relating to biomedical technology. He published extensively on patenting of agricultural biotechnology and biomedical technology in the light of open and collaborative approaches. He emphasises a pragmatic approach to law that addresses the concerns of various stakeholders in the biotechnology domain through inclusion and participation.

He published his first book, "Biotechnology and Intellectual Property Rights: Legal and Social Implications", with Springer in 2015, followed by the book as an editor and author, “Policy Issues in GM Crops: A Global Perspective”, with Academic Press, Elsevier (2020). Currently, he is working on a book project, “Legal and Policy Framework of Precision Medicine”, with Prof. Shubha Ghosh, Syracuse University College of Law, New York. He has also published numerous articles, reviews and book chapters on various aspects of intellectual property law and biotechnology law with esteemed publishers including Oxford, Edward Elgar, Cambridge, Elsevier and Springer Nature. He has been invited as a resource person and speaker to national and international workshops, conferences, seminars and government consultative groups (notably, University of Utah, Texas A&M University, Indian Patent Office, RGNIIPM, DIPP & DPIIT, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India). On 18th December 2021, he was conferred with the "International Teaching Excellence Award 2021 in Intellectual Property Law" by the Center for Professional Advancement (A Unit of IMRF registered with Govt. of India NITI Aayog).