SYDNEY, 17 March 2022 – Roche Australia, in partnership with the Australian Federal Government, Omico, and other partners, today announced an agreement to jointly fund an important new initiative aimed at improving access to clinical trials for Australians diagnosed with cancer. Through Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials (PrOSPECT), thousands of eligible cancer patients are expected to gain access to comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP), enabling more efficient clinical trial screening and matching to the most appropriate trial.
As part of a $185 million project to establish Australia as a regional hub for the development of innovative medicines to treat cancer, the Federal Government has awarded Omico a $61.2 million grant to establish PrOSPECT. As a foundational partner in the PPP consortium, Roche has committed up to $20 million in funding for the project. The remaining funding will be contributed by the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI), the Children's Cancer Institute (CCI), Minderoo Foundation, and other project partners.
"Roche is incredibly proud to be a foundational partner for PrOSPECT," said Stuart Knight, General Manager of Roche Products. "We see this as an important opportunity to collaborate with the Government, Omico and other project partners, to build a robust and sustainable healthcare ecosystem that will enable broader access to comprehensive genomic profiling for Australian cancer patients, and support access to local clinical trials."
"By enabling broad access to comprehensive genomic profiling, PrOSPECT offers patients – particularly those with advanced or metastatic disease – the potential to receive targeted therapy as early as possible in their cancer journey, thereby improving their prognosis and treatment outcomes," said Mr Knight.
As one of the world's leading innovative pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies in oncology healthcare, Roche is uniquely positioned to realise the transformative potential of oncology personalised healthcare (PHC) – a strategy that aims to find the right treatment for each patient at the right time, based on the molecular biology of their specific tumours.
"Our combined strengths in diagnostic and pharmaceutical expertise, along with our leading portfolio of medicines, proven history of ground-breaking science, growing capabilities in data insights, and deep network of strategic partnerships, have made us a leader in personalised healthcare," said Allison Rossiter, Managing Director of Roche Diagnostics Australia.
"Personalised healthcare utilises more powerful diagnostic tools and more precise treatments by capitalising on our increasingly sophisticated understanding of differences among patients, diseases and medicines. By delivering care tailored to the individual, personalised healthcare can transform patients’ lives; helping to prevent, diagnose and treat patients more quickly and effectively," said Ms Rossiter.
Roche's investment in PrOSPECT follows its previous collaboration with the Australian Government, Omico, and other partners, on the ASPiRATION Study in 2020. At the time, ASPiRATION was the first-of-its-kind study in Australia to generate high quality, clinical and medical data to assess the impact and value of CGP, precision medicine and PHC in people with metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
"Broad genomic screening of a patient's tissue or blood samples may help clinicians to find rare and uncommon mutations that would not be economical to test for individually," said Ms Rossiter. "For people with rare and hard-to-treat cancers, this may lead to potential new treatment options that would have otherwise not been considered."
Led by Professor David Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Omico, PrOSPECT aims to contribute to the increasing body of clinical evidence, which demonstrates participation in biomarker-driven clinical trials improves cancer outcomes and represents an important treatment option for cancer patients, while also increasing the success rates of oncology clinical trials.1
"We know that every $1 AUD invested into local clinical trials returns $5 AUD to the Australian economy2,” said Mr Knight. "Roche is committed to delivering on this opportunity in a way that creates meaningful value for patients and healthcare systems."
"Roche stands ready to partner with all stakeholders, including governments, to shape the healthcare ecosystem of the future. By supporting Australian cancer patients to access the latest innovative treatment options through available local clinical trials, our ultimate goal is to improve their lives, and the lives of their families and loved ones," said Mr Knight.
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Roche’s leadership in PHC
Roche is one of the world's leading innovative pharmaceutical and diagnostic companies in oncology healthcare. These combined strengths have made the company a leader in PHC – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible. We contribute expertise and knowledge to the development and improvement of PHC to achieve better treatment outcomes. Through the use of comprehensive genomic profiling and processing of real world data to support more systematic, equitable and sustainable access of oncology patients to targeted treatments; the ability to improve quality of life for patients with malignant diseases, is within reach.
Our PHC efforts have already led to significant advances in healthcare and medicine, with measurable impact on patients, physicians and regulators. Roche is committed to delivering on this opportunity by drawing on a unique combination of strengths to drive this transformation: a leading portfolio of medicines, expertise in medicine, biology and data-science, world-leading companies (Flatiron and Foundation Medicine), a network of partnerships and global reach.
Parker JL, et al. Does biomarker use in oncology improve clinical trial failure risk? A large-scale analysis. Cancer Medicine 2021;10:1955–1963.
Australian Clinical Trials Alliance. Economic evaluation of investigator-initiated clinical trials conducted by networks. Sydney: ACSQHC; 2017.
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