Australia: Improving access to genomic profiling and local oncology trials

Oncology partnerships lay the groundwork for personalised healthcare options in diverse healthcare systems. In some instances, these partnerships focus on specific, aggressive types of cancer to improve outcomes among patients with especially high mortality.

In Australia, Roche has established a partnership with the Ministry of Health, the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group, Omico (formerly the Australian Genomic Cancer Medicine Centre) and the National Health and Medical Research Council Clinical Trials Centre to support the pioneering ASPiRATION program. This study is the first of its kind in Australia to generate high-quality clinical and medical data to assess the impact and value of comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) in patients with metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer, a rare, difficult-to-treat condition. 

Molecular screening for ASPiRATION started in late 2020, with expansion across 15 hospitals throughout Australia by mid-2021.

Roche has since invested up to $20 million in a new initiative, which aims to improve access to CGP, enabling more efficient patient screening and matching to the most appropriate clinical trial. Thousands of patients are expected to gain access to CGP via a new tool, Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials (PrOSPECT). This is especially important for patients with advanced or metastatic disease, as receiving a targeted treatment as early as possible could greatly improve their prognosis and treatment outcomes. 

 As a foundational member of a public-private partnership consortium with several stakeholders, including the Australian government and Omico, Roche is supporting development of a robust and sustainable Australian healthcare ecosystem. 

“In order to ensure that more patients with cancer in Australia receive targeted therapy, we need to promote equitable use of testing that can reliably identify the relevant genomic anomalies of tumours,” says Professor David Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Omico.

“Roche stands ready to partner with all stakeholders, including governments, to shape the healthcare ecosystem of the future,” said Stuart Knight, General Manager of Roche Products. “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."

These collaborations show how a tailored approach to healthcare could become standard of care for treating cancer – providing a blueprint not just for Australia, but for development of healthcare systems around the world. 

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