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Technology partnerships around genomic profiling to drive cancer care precision medicine in India: GlobalData

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Saturday, December 3, 2022, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The recent alliances forged around the development of genomic profiling tests in India are expected to drive cancer care towards adopting appropriate targeted therapies, says data and analytics company GlobalData.

As cancer treatment is evolving globally, the regular approach of one-size-fits-all is being challenged with precision medicine, a concept that involves genetic screening of the patient to allow doctors to select an appropriate treatment for a better outcome, it said.

AstraZeneca India has collaborated with 4baseCare to support advanced-stage cancer patients with targeted therapy options using affordable genomic solutions. AstraZeneca markets its immunotherapy molecule, durvalumab (Imfinzi) for the treatment of patients with stage III NSCLC, and metastatic urothelial carcinoma indications. The company can leverage this partnership to develop a complementary diagnostic tool for Imfinzi patients to improve the drug’s uptake and thereby create a niche market for itself.

Earlier, India-based genetic testing company GenepoweRx collaborated with Onco.com (a cancer care management platform) to provide genomic tests for cancer patients at affordable prices. A similar partnership occurred between C2i Genomics and Karkinos Healthcare Partner to develop India’s first whole-genome sequencing minimal residual test. This test enables physicians to detect traces of cancer, ensuring early intervention and better treatment outcome.

Historically, tests involved in genomic profiling were imported from foreign countries, which are ultimately expensive. Strategic partnerships like these are expected to improve the affordability of such potential diagnostic tools, and thereby increase the chances of identifying optimal treatment options for improved clinical outcomes.

Neha Myneni, Pharma Analyst at GlobalData, said, “Due to lack of access to good infrastructure for cancer diagnosis and low awareness of the disease among the public, rising cancer burden could take a heavy toll on the country’s health system. Partnerships around genomics-based molecular profiling are expected to offer these life-saving diagnostic tools at affordable prices to the patients in need.”

Myneni added, “The concept of genomic profiling is still in the nascent stage of application in India. Moreover, awareness of this concept and its potential benefits is also very low among the public. Pharmaceutical companies can run awareness campaigns to educate patients about the benefits of undergoing a genomic-based molecular profiling and introduce tools to locate the doctor’s offices which offer these tests to support their uptake.”

According to the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), lung cancer and breast cancer accounted for the highest disease burden in 2021. GlobalData’s Pharmaceutical Intelligence Center reveals that the total number of incident cases of non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer in India is expected to increase at an average annual growth rate of 2.96% and 2.62%, respectively, during 2021 to 2025.


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