Ingrid Maes, director, pharma, life sciences & healthcare, for PricewaterhouseCooper, believes that personalized healthcare is part of the science that will "revolutionize the whole healthcare system." In a video posted to Roche’s site, Maes says that pharma companies will have to collaborate with diagnostics companies to bring together combined solutions to market.
Roche is already ahead of most in the game. “With our combined strength in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics, we are better equipped than any other company to further drive personalised healthcare,” the company reports. “Two-thirds of our Research and Development projects are being developed with companion diagnostics.”
Roche CEO Severin Schwan points to the benefits of having pharma and diagnostics under the same roof. “We can leverage capabilities across the two divisions and with a better understanding of disease heterogeneity in areas like cancer for example. . . and by the means of modern diagnostics . . . we can codevelop medicines and companion diagnostics for more targeted treatments,” he says in a video. He is also enthusiastic about the future “digitization of healthcare data,” which he expects to enable the aggregation and analysis of treatment and outcomes data to recognize correlations that could lead to the development of individual treatments for smaller patient groups.
This year Roche took 100% ownership of Foundation Medicine, whose liquid biopsy test for solid tumors, FoundationOneLiquid, is now commercially available in the United States. “With the commercial launch of FoundationOne Liquid, we are further expanding access to important genomic information that has the potential to match more patients to targeted therapies,” said Tom Civik, Chief Commercial Officer at Foundation Medicine, in a news statement.
Earlier this year, the FoundationOne CDx genomic profiling (CGP) assay for all solid tumors was also made available in the United States. Said Vincent Miller, M.D., chief medical officer at Foundation Medicine, in a news statement: "By integrating FoundationOne CDx early into routine clinical care, oncologists can create treatment efficiencies and expand access to biomarker-driven medicines for patients, with the potential to improve treatment outcomes."
Roche also won FDA approval for its cobas Human Papillomavirus (HPV) Test as a first-line screening test for cervical cancer in women 25 and older using cervical specimens collected in SurePath preservative fluid.