Did you know that because of the current pandemic situation in India, people who have cancer, irrespective of their stage, have been shifted off-focus? But here’s some good news for each of us who dread the disease destroying the lives of loved ones physically, emotionally, and financially.
A group of Indian scientists informs of a breakthrough in early cancer diagnosis. According to these scientists, a segment of cellular biology validated by additional trials can help develop a new market in cancer medicine with tens of billions of dollars in annual turnover. So, this is to say; cancer has found its antidote?
This development in cancer research can help detect cancer even before the birth of a tumor or detect cancer at an early stage with a simple blood test. The new cancer treatment blood test is called HrC, has been co-developed by Mumbai-based Epigeneres Biotechnology Pvt. Ltd and Singapore-based Tzar Labs Pte Ltd.
In a report titled, “Quest for Pan-Cancer Diagnosis/Prognosis Ends with HrC Test Measuring Oct4A in Peripheral Blood,” Dr. Vinay Kumar Tripathi and team members inform that HrC is 100% accurate based on a 1000-people clinical trial. The HrC test detects and classifies stage-based solid tumors, hematological malignancies, and sarcomas.
According to Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, the proprietary HrC scale indicates non-cancer (0–2), inflammation (>2–6), high-risk (>6–10), stage I (>10–20), stage II (>20–30), stage III (>30–40), and stage IV (>40) cancers. The HrC report identifies 25 types of cancers initiated because of the excessive self-renewal of otherwise quiescent, pluripotent VSELs in normal tissues.
According to a telephonic conversation with the Live Mint, Tzar Labs chief executive officer (CEO) Ashish Tripathi informs that HrC happens to be the world’s first prognostic test for cancer. A single HrC report can rule out the possibility of acquiring cancer or not relapse if the patient is already cancer-positive. The HrC test is done once a year can detect cancer at stage 1 or prior.
Epigeneres Biotechnology Pvt. Ltd aims to import the HrC test kits in India by September-October 2021, said Ashish Tripathi. The company is currently trying to secure regulatory approvals and set up a test center network, the first planned for Lower Parel in Mumbai. It has also applied for patents in the US, Japan, Europe, Singapore, South Korea, China, and India.
The Indian biotech startup’s expansion plan seeks to raise $200 million through trials in thousands. The US market for liquid biopsies is estimated at an annual $30-130 billion, Epigeneres Biotechnology Pvt. Ltd has investments from the Edelweiss co-founder Venkat Ramaswamy, Justdial co-founder V. Krishnan, former co-head of Goldman Sachs in India, Vijay Karnani, the HCG hospital group Torrent Pharma.
In the field of liquid biopsy, market leaders include Guardant Health Inc. (the first US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved liquid biopsy test developer), Illumina Inc. that just acquired the top-brass Grail Inc, and Exact Sciences Corp. that acquired Thrive Earlier Detection.
While all the above enterprises work on the circulating cell-free tumor DNA methodology, Epigeneres Biotechnology’s HrC test seeks a genetic marker that correlates to cancer. This new predictive cancer detection technology is hands-down a call of relief in India. Around 2.25 million people battle with this disease, with a promise from the startup to keep the kit’s pricing as low as possible.
One of the research paper co-authors, Deepa Bhartia, heads the stem cell biology department at the National Institute of Research in Reproductive Health. She hopes that India will be proud of this discovery by Dr. Tripathi and the team when the whole world has been busy researching markers for cancer cells.
Bill Gates, who refused Covid-19 patent access to India because of our poor manufacturing infrastructure, may now reconsider his take on India’s pharma innovation thanks to Dr. Vinay Kumar Tripathi and the team. The thing is, while we can ignore Gates, how do we ensure it will not impede the production of HrC test kits when Narendra Modi’s favorite Pragya Thakur argued how cow urine could cure cancer?