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Sapien Biosciences, an Apollo backed venture, partners with OncoStem Diagnostics to develop Breast cancer recurrence diagnostic test

Date: 20 Feb 2015

Sapien Biosciences, a niche biotech venture backed by Apollo Hospitals, has entered into a collaboration with a Bangalore-based diagnostic start-up, OncoStem Diagnostics, for the development and validation of a novel Breast cancer recurrence prediction test.

OncoStem has developed a unique panel of 'prognostic and predictive' proteomic markers that is indicative of the aggressiveness of the cancer and hence enables prediction of the risk of recurrence within the first five years of initial diagnosis. These markers are now being validated using retrospective tumor samples diagnosed with Stage 1, 2 or 3A Breast cancer. OncoStem is collaborating with Sapien to validate this test using such annotated tumor samples with associated treatment and outcomes. Once the test is validated, OncoStem and Sapien will pilot and commercialize this test across the Apollo network.

Other recurrence prediction tests such as Oncotype DX (Genomic Health Inc.) and Mammaprint (Agendia Inc.) have been launched globally and have had significant impact in the industry even though these tests only apply to Stage 1 patients who are lymph node negative, hormone receptor positive. OncoStem's test is a significant innovation in that it can predict recurrences in both lymph node and hormone receptors negative or positive patients and is applicable across all stages of cancer.

Announcing this partnership Dr. Jugnu Jain, CSO - Sapien Biosciences said: "Sapien Biosciences was set-up as a bio - repository that will enable the development of cutting - edge diagnostics & therapeutics. The samples and associated medical data that are being systematically collated & ethically banked at Sapien are a very rich resource for the development of such novel diagnostic tests. Recurrence diagnostics in cancer is particularly dependent on the availability of reliable retrospective information which is acutely lacking in India. I am glad that Sapien is filling this huge gap and we are excited to be part of this collaboration with OncoStem to develop such a test that will represent a paradigm shift in Breast cancer treatment."

To highlight the importance of the diagnostic test that OncoStem is developing Dr. Manjiri Bakre, CEO, OncoStem Diagnostics said: ""OncoStem was founded with the vision of developing novel diagnostic tests to predict cancer recurrence, an area of huge unmet medical need. This Breast cancer recurrence diagnostic is the first of many such tests in development across several cancer types and is designed to predict the patients' risk of cancer recurrence within the first five years of their initial diagnosis, based on the characteristics of their tumor sample. This will in-turn allow optimal & personalized treatment planning for each patient so that risk of such recurrence is minimized. We are excited to be collaborating with Sapien to validate our test using such a valuable resource of samples & associated data which is otherwise extremely difficult to obtain. This partnership will help us realize the potential of our novel diagnostic test and impact millions of Breast cancer patients worldwide.""

Commenting on the partnership, Ms. Sangita Reddy, Joint Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals says, "Apollo has been at the forefront of recognizing personalized medicine as the future of healthcare delivery and has been adopting cutting edge diagnostic tests to deliver better patient care & improve outcomes. Sapien was set-up with the vision of enabling such personalized medicine approaches and we are very excited to see this crystallize through partnerships such as this one with OncoStem. Cancer recurrence space is largely unexplored especially in India and needs immediate attention. I look forward to Apollo & Sapien pioneering the introduction & adoption of this important innovation from OncoStem across our network for the benefit of our patients."

The OncoStem Breast cancer recurrence diagnostic test is planned to be launched first within the Apollo network in India, followed by a worldwide launch in a phased manner starting late 2015-early 2016 and is steadily expected to garner market share in the highly lucrative Breast cancer recurrence diagnostic space which is currently valued at $ 3 B globally and is expected to grow at 18% CAGR. Sapien's agreement with OncoStem includes a preferential launch of the OncoStem test across the Apollo Hospitals network through Sapien. Beside Breast cancer, the Sapien-OncoStem collaboration also anticipates development of several such cutting-edge recurrence diagnostic tests across other cancer types.


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