Thermo Fisher Scientific (Thermo Fisher) has signed a partnership agreement with Pfizer to increase localised access to next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based testing for cancer patients in international markets.
The increased localised access is aimed at providing faster analysis of associated genes for lung and breast cancer patients in more than 30 countries across Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and Africa, where access to advanced genomic testing is inadequate or unavailable.
Greater access to advanced local NGS testing can help healthcare providers in selecting the right therapy for each patient.
Under the collaboration, Thermo Fisher will identify local facilities that will adopt its NGS technology.
The company will make sure they have the required infrastructure, trained personnel and quality control measures in place to provide quality NGS testing services for patients with breast and lung cancer.
Pfizer’s role in the partnership is to identify ways to facilitate affordable access to NGS testing for patients with these types of cancer. Additionally, it will help increase awareness among healthcare providers regarding the benefits of advanced testing.
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The two companies will continue to explore the expansion of the partnership geographically and expand testing to accommodate other cancer types.
Thermo Fisher Scientific executive vice-president Gianluca Pettiti said: “Anyone facing a cancer diagnosis should have access to cutting-edge testing that can match them with an appropriate, optimised treatment plan and better inform their care.
“Today, we aim to bring rapid NGS testing to an increased number of decentralised labs, closer to where patients are treated.
“We are moving one step closer to delivering precision insights to underserved patients so they can receive a more tailored path for their care no matter where they are in the world.”
NGS can be used to screen a single-tumour tissue or blood sample for multiple biomarkers at the same time, eliminating the need for multiple sequential, single-biomarker tests.
It provides rapid and actionable genomic insights to help healthcare professionals in their precision oncology treatment decision-making for patients.
Pfizer emerging markets global president Nick Lagunowich said: “Our experience has taught us that cancer cannot always be treated with a broad brush and often requires an individualised approach based on precise disease characteristics.
“In many parts of the world, access to NGS may be limited or unaffordable for cancer patients. This programme aims to improve their treatment journey and help increase their chances for improved outcomes.”