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. 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) andgenomic testing platforms, because of which due to which companies havingfunding and experience will be able to better capture the market. We think NGSand genomic platform equipment companies have the opportunity to increasemarket acceptance, market usage and to introduce global best practices to enhancethe quality of service to the Indian market. As we continue to expand ouroperations in India, we are witnessing how equipment companies are trying toimprove their capabilities and visibility into the Indian market.
How beneficial is the ‘Make in India’ concept in terms of the genetic testingparticularly for Oncology?
At our CG India site, we are developing a customised cancer database of the Indianpopulation. This is a commitment that we are making to better serve thecommunity. We are investing in local discovery projects and collaborating with topnational institutions to help our partners develop products faster. Lastly, we arepartnering with the country’s leading clinical organisations to increase awarenessand access to customised cancer care.
What are the challenges and upcoming trends in the oncology testing marketin India?
In this largeThe clinical market has huge potential in India, the but the two biggestchallenges in oncology testing in India are pricing and the establishing of universalquality standards for the industry. CG India offers value to the market place in theform of global best practices that ensure the highest standards. We haveongoinginhouse training for our staff to make sure they are on the cutting edge ofindustry developments, the ability to benchmark globally and locally using ourcustomised , Indian database and to rapidly bring insights from our collaborationswith leading research institutions. These characteristics allow us to provide in-depth interpretation that is currently not available in the marketplace.
With regard to pricing, as the industry, technology and processes mature, pricingwill drop. CG India is committed to making this sophisticated type of testingwidely available to improve cancer care for the wider Indian community.Major collaborations such as our partnership with Kamineni Hospitals (location),where we are continuing validation studies of our FHACTÂ® (full form) panel tomake it more widely available and accepted which will help us address theprominence of cervical cancer in the region. This better serve India’s Panelscreening thousands of women to make tests more widely available and accepted.India alone accounts for more than 25 per cent of the deaths that occur globallyfrom cervical cancer and we want to hope soon this number will slump do what wecan 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 fortesting cancer.
2) Wider acceptance and Extensive adoption of testing for predicting therapeuticresponse. There are a good number of oncology tests and technologies now thatwill help determine response to a drug.
3) The growing importance of bioinformatics in the marketplace is also a keytrend. CG India complements bioinformatics by helping partners analyse, interpretand provide recommendations that result in highly customized customised andeffective cancer care.
What are your present operations in India and your expansion plans?
We have very talented staff in India that includes sales, operations, andmanagement. Over the next two years we expect to at least double our staff andrapidly expand our collaborations with the strategic clinical partners in the region.We think positive that the growth rate can will accelerate significantly given twofactors: As we are introducing a series of tests validated in the US (ie our FHACTand NGS panels). Also, because of Tthe unique synergy between CGI, our US-based, but globally-focused company and the talent and time advantage that CGIndia will we can attract biopharma and medical technology companies. Customerssuch as our Japanese partner, Reprocell, can benefit greatly from our efficiencyand global expertise.