The partnership was inked on Thursday 27th between Milltrust portfolio company Oncoshot, a collaborative platform for cancer patients and oncologists, Swiss pharmaceutical firm Roche and Icon Cancer Centre.
Oncoshot’s clinical trial-matching technology will potentially provide more options for cancer patients by speeding up their access to the trials.
Genome testing, usually done in the form of next-generation sequencing which allows for the entire genome or targeted regions of DNA to be read, is usually done on advanced cancer patients who have undergone standard care but have not reached optimal progress.
When cancer patients currently undergo a genomic testing process, test results are returned in hardcopy to their doctors, who may not be aware of all the clinical trial options available for their patients.
These trials are necessary as they allow doctors to find new ways to improve treatment options for people with certain diseases.
With this collaboration, a patient’s genomic profile is digitised, and the process of matching patients to the most suitable clinical trials on the Oncoshot platform is accelerated. Rather than acting as just a database of clinical trials, this matching process can happen in real time.
Some examples of genomic data being digitised include information on mutations of genes and biomarker information, which are necessary for trials targeting these genes and biomarkers.
Roche passes the digitised raw genome report to Icon Cancer Centre, which will secure and push the data onto the platform after deidentifying the data to protect patient privacy.
Additionally, with the digitised genomic profile of patients, clinical trials that are looking for patients can use the information to see if a trial site (usually in a hospital) is suitable and has eligible patients.
The raw digitised data on the platform is also translated into insights and trends by Oncoshot’s artificial intelligence platform, thereby helping to influence the decisions of trial sponsors.
The platform, which went live in May 2021, currently has over 100,000 patients in its ecosystem. It brings together key oncology care providers, pharmaceutical companies and clinical research organisations in Australia, India and Singapore.
More than 40 hospitals and clinical research networks are on board, and cancer patients have access to over 1,000 active trials.
“With comprehensive genomic profiling data, healthcare professionals can make more informed decisions for their patients about potential treatment options, which should include access to clinical trials of investigational new medicines,” said Ms Ying Ying Yeoh, general manager for Roche Singapore.
“We are proud to partner with Oncoshot and Icon to help more patients in our collective fight against cancer and advance clinical cancer research in Asia-Pacific to bring more medicines to patients sooner,” Ms Yeoh added.