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AstraZeneca India, RGCI&RC sign MOU to set up CoE to advance lung cancer testing, ET HealthWorld

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New Delhi: AstraZeneca India signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Rajiv Gandhi Cancer Institute and Research Centre (RGCI&RC). Through this collaboration, a centre of excellence (CoE) will be set up at the RGCI&RC lab in Delhi, to enhance the availability of subsidised, high-quality, and validated next-generation sequencing (NGS) molecular panel testing for eligible individuals diagnosed with lung cancer in India.

As a part of this collaboration, the molecular diagnostics lab at RGCI&RC will offer a broad 34 gene panel-based subsidised NGS test to eligible lung cancer patients across. This panel will include major biomarkers that will help the oncologist to provide appropriate treatment to lung cancer patients. Molecular diagnostics at RGCI&RC is a NABL-accredited laboratory and it is one of the pioneers in the country to embark on the journey of liquid biopsy through both PCR as well as NGS technologies. AstraZeneca and RGCI&RC hope that this collaboration will increase access to NGS-based testing which, in turn, will aid in appropriate treatment decisions for lung cancer patients.

Dr Ullas Batra, Senior Consultant and Chief of Thoracic Medical Oncology, RGCI&RC, said, “NGS has shifted the therapeutic paradigm dramatically in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). At RGCI, we boast of an in-house affordable and available NGS for lung cancer which has proven to be the coup de grâce in this era of precision medicine. The benefit of an in-house, state-of-the-art molecular laboratory with expert personnel, ‘NGS for all’ is the motto and with this ever-evolving field of personalised therapy, the hope for a possible cure in the future stays alive.”

Dr Sanjeev Panchal, Country President and Managing Director, AstraZeneca India, said, “Through this collaboration with RGCI&RC, we will be able to overcome the barriers in precision diagnostics and treatment of lung cancer and empower oncologists to provide quicker, more accurate treatment. Our shared vision is to empower patients and healthcare professionals with next-generation technologies that will ultimately improve survival rates and quality of life. Together, we are determined to make a lasting impact in the fight against lung cancer through the power of gene sequencing, seeking to drive deeper and more durable responses.”

Dr Col (retired) Anurag Mehta, Director – Department of Laboratory & Transfusion Services and Director Research, RGCI&RC said, “NSCLC has been the poster child of precision oncology. Keeping pace with this dynamic field, molecular diagnostics was established a decade ago in 2011 at RGCI, with NGS panels launched in 2014. The lab strives to deliver quality-assured testing par excellence to all its patients, making it affordable and available to all through continuous efforts from the molecular diagnostics team. This collaboration will aid the lab’s pursuit of making ‘NGS available to all’, a dream come true.”

  • Published On Jun 27, 2023 at 11:45 AM IST

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