Mumbai Capital

A new RNA sequencing test for cancer treatment

Clinical genomics company Positive Bioscience launched PositiveSelect, the country’s first RNA sequencing test for cancer treatment, on Thursday. The new test will enable a wider and more accurate mapping of the genetic alterations identified in cancer, officials of the firm said while announcing the launch.

The RNA sequencing test, which will be available from March 1 at leading hospitals that Positive Bioscience has partnered, will be able to test 25,000 human genes in one go and map all the genetic alterations in them, said Samarth Jain, founder and CEO of Positive Bioscience, adding that the test will throw up more accurate results and thus enable a more precise treatment of cancer.

Until now, the conventional testing methods available in the market tested about 4-5 genes; the new RNA sequencing method will test the entire gamut of genes and their alterations, Mr Jain said.

PositiveSelect can be used for all forms of cancer including lung, breast, ovarian and prostate as well as leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma. Its test reports will be clinically actionable for oncologists, as it identities molecular alterations in a patient’s tumour. These alterations can then be matched with relevant targeted therapies and clinical trials.

“The report comes with an expression data of 25,000 genes and thus is the most advanced test available in the world,” Mr Jain said. The test is priced at Rs 49,500, which Mr Jain said was a modest pricing given that the current rates for testing each gene are around Rs 6,000. Besides, he said the test could just bring down the treatment cost and duration by making the treatment process more targetted.

Currently, one in 12,000 patients in India opts for genomic testing, against one in 10 in the US: a figure that has gone up in the last six years. Mr Jain said the treatment methodology is moving from ‘one size fits all’ to a personalised treatment approach. “No two cancer patients will have the same genetic alteration,” he said, adding that there lies the need for a personalised treatment.

Positive Bioscience will be carrying out the RNA sequencing test in its partner labs in the US, Korea and China, and will deliver reports within four business days of sample collection. While sample collection and the RNA sequencing test are one part of the process, the company’s key value addition will be in analysing the reams of data generated from the test of 25,000 genes and giving them to the oncologist in an easy-to-interpret report format, said Mr Jain. The test has been tried on over a 100 individuals.



Covers all types of genomic alterations in cancer patients, enables more targeted treatment



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Printable version | Feb 27, 2021 11:19:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/business/A-new-RNA-sequencing-test-for-cancer-treatment/article14013001.ece

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