Vedanta’s BALCO Medical Centre (BMC), one of India’s leading cancer hospitals, and Anuva, a genomics biotech company with a centre in India and backed by a UK-based hub, have jointly struck a strategic collaboration to build a Cancer Genomics Biobank for cancer research in India.
Anuva and BMC aim to use this cancer bio/data bank for clinical research to identify relevant insights for precision medicine application for cancer in India. The companies said the collaboration leverages the strengths of both organisations – the clinical expertise of BALCO Medical Centre and Anuva’s biobanking and genomic expertise.
Jyoti Agarwal, Chairperson of BALCO Medical Centre, said: “This is another milestone in the journey of BALCO Medical Centre towards becoming India’s cancer care destination.
“Our collaboration with Anuva will bring together the best of knowledge, technology and research to serve the people of India better, through precision medicine and targeted treatment.”
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The memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed recently by Dr Jonathan Picker, CEO of Anuva, and Dr Bhawna Sirohi, Medical Director of BMC, at the BALCO Medical Centre at Naya Raipur in Chhattisgarh, central India.
Dr Picker said: “I am tremendously excited to embark on this endeavour with BALCO Medical Centre. Despite all the research, cancer still remains the third leading cause of death. As a genetic disease, the research needs to be personalised to the affected populations.”
“This partnership will provide us a bridge to support “bench to bedside” research, driving our efforts to accelerate progress in treating cancer and also help patients with cancer live longer with better quality of life,” added Dr Sirohi.
A cancer focused bio/data bank is aimed at helping both organisations accelerate discoveries by bringing together biological factors with the background risk elements, at a population level, to find the critical genes that drive cancer. The resulting knowledge is expected to improve understanding of how genetic variants influence cancer, thereby, increasing effectiveness of diagnosis and treatment.
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Headquartered in Singapore with presence in India, Dubai, Boston and the United Kingdom, Anuva describes itself as a translational research company with a mission to create the most diverse genomic bio/data bank of Asian populations, which is being utilised for research and development. In addition, it says its cohorts and biorepository allows for follow-on clinical and translational studies, which greatly empower drug development opportunities.
BMC marks the flagship initiative of the Vedanta Medical Research Foundation (VMRF), a non-profit organisation initiative of Vedanta Resources and Bharat Aluminium Company Ltd (BALCO), to contribute towards prevention of cancer.