Cancer Genetics Inc (CGI) is partnering with clinical organisations in the country to increase awareness and access to customised cancer care, says Panna Sharma, CEO & President, CGI in conversation with Romiya Das of Elets News Network (ENN)
What are your views on genetic testing market in India vis-a-vis the global market?
The market can be viewed in research and discovery segment and the clinical segment.Â The research and discovery segment has matured rapidly over the last three years and now the clinical market has been quickly evolving. Within the next 2-3 years, the research and discovery market of India will be at par with the most developed segments of the US and European markets, and the clinical market will be close behind. Given the need for genomic testing in India, it is exciting for the company to be an active member of this rapidly maturing market.
What are your views on market price sensitivity in terms of genetic testing equipment and popularity?
Clearly, there is a lot of price sensitivity, especially around NGS (full form) andÂ genomic testing platforms, because of which due to which companies havingÂ funding and experience will be able to better capture the market. We think NGSÂ and genomic platform equipment companies have the opportunity to increaseÂ market acceptance, market usage and to introduce global best practices to enhanceÂ the quality of service to the Indian market. As we continue to expand ourÂ operations in India, we are witnessing how equipment companies are trying toÂ improve their capabilities and visibility into the Indian market.
How beneficial is the ‘Make in India’ concept in terms of the genetic testingÂ particularly for Oncology?
At our CG India site, we are developing a customised cancer database of the IndianÂ population. This is a commitment that we are making to better serve theÂ community. We are investing in local discovery projects and collaborating with topÂ national institutions to help our partners develop products faster. Lastly, we areÂ partnering with the country’s leading clinical organisations to increase awarenessÂ and access to customised cancer care.
What are the challenges and upcoming trends in the oncology testing marketÂ in India?
In this largeThe clinical market has huge potential inÂ India, the but the two biggestÂ challenges in oncology testing in India are pricing and the establishing of universalÂ quality standards for the industry. CG India offers value to the market place in theÂ form of global best practices that ensure the highest standards. We haveÂ ongoinginhouseÂ training for our staff to make sure they are on the cutting edge ofÂ industry developments, the ability to benchmark globally and locally using ourÂ customised , Indian database and to rapidly bring insights from our collaborationsÂ with leading research institutions. These characteristics allow us to provide in-Â depth interpretation that is currently not available in the marketplace.
With regard to pricing, as the industry, technology and processes mature, pricingÂ will drop. CG India is committed to making this sophisticated type of testingÂ widely available to improve cancer care for the wider Indian community.Â Major collaborations such as our partnership with Kamineni Hospitals (location),Â where we are continuing validation studies of our FHACTÂ® (full form) panel toÂ make it more widely available and accepted which will help us address theÂ prominence of cervical cancer in the region. This better serve India’s PanelÂ screening thousands of women to make tests more widely available and accepted.Â India alone accounts for more than 25 per cent of the deaths that occur globallyÂ from cervical cancer and we want to hope soon this number will slump do what weÂ can to bring that number down dramatically.
What according to you are the emerging trends in oncology?
The top trends that I see in the marketplace are:
1) Wider acceptance of next generation sequencing as the dominant technology forÂ testing cancer.
2) Wider acceptance and Extensive adoption of testing for predicting therapeuticÂ response. There are a good number of oncology tests and technologies now thatÂ will help determine response to a drug.
3) The growing importance ofÂ bioinformatics in the marketplace is also a keyÂ trend. CG India complements bioinformatics by helping partners analyse, interpretÂ and provide recommendations that result in highly customized customised andÂ effective cancer care.
What are your present operations in India and your expansion plans?
We have very talented staff in India that includes sales, operations, andÂ management.Â Over the next two years we expect to at least double our staff andÂ rapidly expand our collaborations with the strategic clinical partners in the region.Â We thinkÂ positive that the growth rate can will accelerate significantly given twoÂ factors: As we are introducing a series of tests validated in the US (ie our FHACTÂ and NGS panels). Also, because of Tthe unique synergy between CGI, our US-based, but globally-focused company and the talent and time advantage that CGÂ India will we can attract biopharma and medical technology companies. CustomersÂ such as our Japanese partner, Reprocell, can benefit greatly from our efficiencyÂ and global expertise.