INDIA —Zydus Lifesciences Limited, a global life sciences company, and Guardant Health, a pioneering precision oncology firm, have inked a co-marketing agreement towards advancing precision oncology in India and Nepal.

This collaboration aims to jointly promote Guardant Health’s acclaimed Guardant360 portfolio of liquid and tissue biopsy tests in the region, providing an essential tool for oncologists to make informed treatment decisions for patients with advanced cancer.

The tests included in this initiative encompass Guardant360 and Guardant360 TissueNext for comprehensive genomic profiling, as well as the Guardant360 Response test for monitoring treatment response.

These tests are instrumental in guiding oncologists to select the most effective targeted treatments based on an individual’s tumor genomic profile.

This partnership underscores a mutual commitment to enhance precision medicine and elevate patient outcomes in the region by leveraging their combined resources and expertise. The goal is to equip oncologists with the necessary tools to improve treatment decisions for patients battling advanced cancers.

Connecting the precision oncology dots

Early cancer detection and treatment are fundamental to improving patient outcomes. In this endeavor, liquid biopsies have emerged as a groundbreaking tool, allowing oncologists to detect cancer and monitor its progression with minimally invasive techniques.

Liquid biopsies, unlike traditional tissue biopsies, require only a simple blood sample.

Guardant360, part of the Guardant360 portfolio, offers comprehensive genomic profiling by analyzing circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from a blood draw, providing a non-invasive and comprehensive view of a patient’s tumor genomic profile.

Guardant360 TissueNext complements this by offering results from tumor tissue biopsies when tissue testing is warranted.

Guardant360 Response, on the other hand, empowers oncologists to track a patient’s treatment response over time.

A transformative approach to cancer care

For doctors treating patients with advanced cancer, these tests provide a complete genomic view throughout the treatment journey, ensuring patients receive optimal treatment based on their tumor genomic profile while also enabling ongoing monitoring of treatment response.

Simranjit Singh, CEO of Guardant Health Asia, Middle East, and Africa, emphasized the pressing need for these advancements: “Cancer is a major public health concern in India and Nepal.

“This collaboration with Zydus signifies our mutual commitment to addressing unmet cancer treatment needs by equipping oncologists with genomic tests that help patients receive the best-targeted treatment options to improve outcomes.”

Expanding horizons in cancer diagnosis

Beyond this collaboration, the landscape of cancer diagnosis is rapidly evolving. In the U.S., the introduction of early cancer blood tests, such as Labcorp’s Plasma Focus liquid biopsy, is set to revolutionize the timely initiation of efficient treatments.

This groundbreaking test requires only a standard blood draw and seeks cell-free DNA (cfDNA) released by tumor cells into the bloodstream, providing valuable insights into the most effective cancer treatments for individual patients.

Labcorp’s Plasma Focus test, which has emerged following its acquisition of Personal Genome Diagnostics, analyzes cfDNA in a blood sample, focusing on 33 genes known to indicate variations in non-small cell lung, colorectal, breast, esophageal, gastroesophageal junction, gastric cancers, and melanoma.

It offers a promising alternative in cases where obtaining a tumor tissue sample via biopsy is challenging.

Labcorp’s Plasma Focus presents results within seven to ten days, equipping doctors with comprehensive genetic profiles and potential treatment options, both FDA-approved and in clinical trials, tailored to the patient’s specific genomic makeup.

While there are several promising blood tests for early cancer detection currently in the research and development stage, only three blood-based cancer detection tests have made significant strides and are now available for clinical use.

These tests have garnered substantial clinical trial data, ensuring their credibility and effectiveness. They include GRAIL’s Galleri, which is a comprehensive multicancer test, Guardant’s Shield, designed for detecting colorectal cancer, and Epigenomics’ Epi proColon test.

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