Canexia Health CEO, Michael Ball, joined Bio Asia Pacific 2021 to discuss global expansion of the company’s liquid biopsy initiative, Project ACTT (Access to Cancer Testing & Treatment). Beginning with a collaboration in Thailand, expansion will build upon the success of the program in Canada over the last year.
Through Project ACTT Canada, more than 2,000 cancer patients have received biomarker testing via a simple blood draw to identify targeted treatment options or clinical trials during the pandemic, helping overcome tissue biopsy delays and minimizing risk of exposure to COVID-19.
The Bio Asia Pacific 2021 panel followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Chulabhorn Royal Academy and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, wherein Thailand and Canada will explore opportunities to collaborate to facilitate cancer research. Project ACTT Thailand is expected to be the first initiative in this collaboration.
“We are happy to announce Project ACTT Global as we work to democratize access to cancer testing, and leverage our experience with ACTT in a first implementation outside of Canada with the support of Thailand,” said Ball. “We think that this will be a program that not will not only be successful in Thailand, but in other geographies in the future.”
Participants in the panel also included:
- Prof. Chirayu Auewarakul, MD, PhD, Dean, Faculty of Medicine and Public Health, Chulabhorn Royal Academy
- Barbara Melosky, MD, PhD, Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
- Sirasak Teparkum, PhD, CEO, Thailand Center of Excellence for Life Sciences (TCELS)
“Liquid biopsy is not currently available in Thailand. If we can set it up at our cancer center, it will be a first in the country,” said Professor Auewarakul. “I think in the first phase we will test a few thousand patients, focusing on the most common cancer types in Thailand. This is also a good opportunity to do research, together with Canexia Health, to explore use with other types of cancer prevalent in Thailand.”
Added Ball, “Access to local liquid biopsy testing means that patients will have shorter wait times, patient samples don’t leave the country, and countries can build the precision medicine infrastructure necessary to sustain testing during and beyond pandemic conditions. We believe this will be transformative for patients and for healthcare systems.”
For an excerpt of the discussion, watch here.