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Canadian Consortium Increases Access to Cancer Testing and Treatment in Response to COVID-19 

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia–(BUSINESS WIRE)–July 16, 2020–

A consortium led by Vancouver-based Canexia Health (previously Contextual Genomics) will allow entry to essential testing and therapy choices for Canadian most cancers sufferers throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Supported by the Digital Technology Supercluster, the CAD $2,590,000 initiative, named Project ACTT – Access to Cancer Testing & Treatment, will deploy and improve a liquid biopsy resolution that requires solely a easy blood draw for most cancers therapy choice, thereby eliminating the necessity for a lot of sufferers to journey to hospital for surgical biopsies.

The consortium’s purpose is to restrict affected person publicity to COVID-19 whereas rising well being system capability initially for sufferers with recurrent or metastatic lung, breast, or colon most cancers. The digital liquid biopsy resolution makes use of superior software program expertise together with machine studying to establish circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) in plasma and matches sufferers with focused therapies proven to enhance outcomes. In addition to Canexia Health, the consortium consists of AstraZeneca Canada, Queen’s University, the Eastern Ontario Regional Laboratory Association, Genolife, emtelligent, Novateur, Semaphore Solutions, Xtract AI, and Illumina.

Cancer sufferers have an estimated two-fold increased risk of contracting COVID-19 and a three-fold risk of dying in comparison with the overall inhabitants. A complete method is required to handle the wants of this high-risk group to restrict their publicity and decrease hospital visits. Since early March, COVID-19 has delayed or postponed at least 100,000 surgeries in Canada together with most cancers tissue biopsies.

“Tackling the backlog of medical procedures and treatments due to COVID-19 is a challenge across Canada. The Canexia Health project team has an innovative and pragmatic solution to protecting cancer patients while providing much-needed treatment quickly and effectively,” acknowledged Bill Tam, COO of the Digital Technology Supercluster.

“The precision oncology solution offered and further developed with our project partners will both increase patient safety and remove geographic barriers that can impede cancer care,” mentioned Michael Ball, CEO of Canexia Health. “We are fortunate to have access to this cross-disciplinary group of project partners who, together, will bring these goals to fruition with the support of the Digital Technology Supercluster.”

“The early identification of biomarkers, including gene mutations, is critical to helping ensure patients with cancer have quick access to the most effective treatments available for their disease,” mentioned Gaby Bourbara, VP-Oncology at AstraZeneca Canada. “As a key partner in this COVID-19 initiative, we hope to not only improve health outcomes for Canadian cancer patients during the pandemic, but to contribute to a lasting solution that will further strengthen health care capabilities in the area of early cancer screening and diagnoses.”

Canexia Health and AstraZeneca Canada will help testing and oncologist training, whereas Queen’s University, EORLA, Genolife, and LifeLabs will lengthen affected person entry initially in British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan – with the longer-term goal of accelerating entry throughout Canada. Canexia Health will use emtelligent’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) expertise to broaden the inhabitants of most cancers sufferers who may benefit to these with all strong tumour varieties. Semaphore Solutions will work on laboratory course of administration and distant entry to check outcomes. Xtract AI will develop, prepare, and deploy NLP fashions to help within the administration, understanding, and integration of semi-structured data from a mutation and cancer-type database. Sequencing will probably be performed on Illumina platforms. Novateur will associate on a well being economics examine to additional set up the cost-effectiveness of liquid biopsy. Canexia Health additionally will lead technical switch for hospitals and labs to run liquid biopsy testing in-house, bringing higher resilience to the Canadian well being system.

“We’re excited to participate in this project on several levels, including as a proof of concept for technology transfer. We hope to provide the necessary evidence to accelerate provincial laboratory evaluation and adoption of ctDNA testing, which would ultimately benefit patients and oncologists across Canada,” mentioned Dr. Harriet Feilotter, Queen’s University.

About Canexia Health

Canexia Health (previously Contextual Genomics) makes high-quality most cancers genomic data accessible and inexpensive with our clinically-validated assays, informatics, and help. Our suite of genomics-based most cancers checks is clinically actionable and cost-effective, designed to enhance most cancers prevention, therapy, and monitoring. With our intensive scientific expertise, specialised genomics-based checks, and help from pharmaceutical and diagnostic companions, we’re main the shift in direction of precision oncology.

About Digital Technology Supercluster

The Digital Technology Supercluster solves a few of trade’s and society’s greatest issues by way of Canadian-made applied sciences. We convey collectively personal and public sector organizations of all sizes to handle challenges dealing with Canada’s financial sectors together with healthcare, pure assets, manufacturing, and transportation. Through this ‘collaborative innovation’ the Supercluster helps to drive options higher than any single group might by itself. The Digital Technology Supercluster is led by trade leaders akin to D-Wave, LifeLabs, LlamaZOO, Lululemon, MDA, Microsoft, Mosaic Forest Management, Sanctuary AI, Teck Resources Limited, TELUS, Terramera, and 1Qbit. Together, we work to place Canada as a world hub for digital innovation. A full record of Members will be discovered here.

About the COVID-19 Program

The COVID-19 Program goals to enhance the well being and security of Canadians and help Canada’s capability to handle points created by the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, this system will construct experience and capability to anticipate and handle points that will come up in future well being crises, from healthcare to a return to work and neighborhood. More data will be discovered here.

Jennifer Temple
Canexia Health
[email protected]

Elysa Darling
Switchboard PR for Digital Technology Supercluster
[email protected]

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