A new consortium aimed at making it easier for more cancer patients all over the world to access precision diagnostics announced its launch last week. The Precision Cancer Consortium (PCC), which announced its formation on April 12, is made up of several pharmaceutical companies, including founding members Roche, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, and Bayer.
“With cancer, the earlier patients are diagnosed and begin treatment, the better their outcomes tend to be. Precision diagnostics, including comprehensive genomic testing, are an important part of developing treatment plans that can help patients,” explains Espen Walker of Roche, who is also chair of the Precision Cancer Consortium, in a statement. “The PCC is focused on addressing these barriers across the cancer ecosystem with the aim of improving outcomes for patients.”
The key problem the group hopes to solve is that while advanced treatment is available to cancer patients, many people do not go through biomarker testing to ensure they choose the best treatment option as most are unaware of such testing, according to a press release from the PCC. The consortium hopes to ensure such patients are able to easily access comprehensive genomic testing, such as next generation sequencing, through a variety of initiatives. Another goal of the PCC is to improve patient recruitment for research studies exploring “targeted therapies in biomarker subgroups defined by genomic alterations,” the group says in a statement.
In order to achieve their goals of improving access to comprehensive genomic testing in clinical trials and routine care, the consortium has two workstreams:
- Workstream 1: Increase awareness on genomic testing’s value for key stakeholders in health care such as health care systems and providers, as well as patients, and remove barriers to accessing such testing
- Workstream 2: Improve efficiencies in genomic biomarker testing in clinical trials
The group says it won’t promote or endorse therapeutic or diagnostic products and services and is open to additional members from the biotech and pharmaceutical communities.