The News Scroll 11 April 2017  Last Updated at 7:28 pm

Strand Life Sciences launches liquid biopsy test portfolio    

bengaluru, April 11 Global genomic profiling and  bioinformatics company, Strand Life Sciences, today announced  the launch of their Liquid Biopsy test portfolio 'STRAND LB'  that provides "highly sensitive" detection of tumor traces  from a simple blood draw.

  The tool can provide early and precise indication of  tumor presence, cancer recurrence, and response to therapy  compared to any other method used in the medical industry, the company officials said.

  They said the Strand LB tests are an outcome of the  collaboration between Scientific teams of Strand and Mazumdar  Shaw Center for Translational Research (MSCTR), which worked  together to develop advanced tests which were validated by  clinicians at the Mazumdar Shaw Medical Center (MSMC).

    Innovations like Liquid Biopsy are huge breakthroughs  in cancer detection and management.

India needs such  pioneering innovation in healthcare to foster early detection  which can be a great help in bringing down the non-communicable disease (NCD) burden that our country is facing today, biocon CMD Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said.

     "What Strand and MSCTR have done in coming out with  this Liquid Biopsy is a very very difficult feat to accomplish. It is something that takes a lot of intellectual  wisdom, a lot of innovation and a lot of evaluation, because  validation is extremely important," she told reporters here.

     Officials from Strand said typically, tumors are  assessed through invasive tumor biopsies or through  radioactive scans, while this latest technique allows earlier  assessment with minimal discomfort to patients.

     "Liquid biopsy is a paradigm shift that involves a  minimally-invasive procedure, no radioactive scans, and can  detect tumor DNA traces from a simple blood draw.However,  detecting tumor DNA requires a highly sensitive test capable  of detecting 1 molecule in a 1000," strand life sciences CMD  Dr Vijay Chandru said.

     He said their study on patients spanning a wide variety  of cancer types shows that STRAND LB could detect tumor DNA  traces in as many as 35 per cent of patients with early-stage  cancer, going up to 70-90 per cent in patients with locally  advanced or metastatic cancer.

     Officials said non-invasive Liquid Biopsy tests will  advance the field of cancer diagnostics, as they offer  ultra-sensitive detection of mutations which will help in  early detection and intervention.

     To reflect the collaboration these tests will be made  available and offered to all patients at MSMC.

     Pointing out that solid tumors developing on an  internal organ or deep within the body are hard to access,  Heme-Oncologist & Clinical Director, MazumdarShaw Medical  Centre Dr Sharat Damodar said a liquid biopsy test requires  only a simple blood draw.

     He said "The technique helps to create personalized  cancer treatment plans for each patient.

Calling it a personalized monitoring product across  variety of cancer types, Strand Life Sciences CEO Dr Ramesh  Hariharan said the biggest challenge with creating STRAND LB  is to cater to all the needs, while providing high  sensitivity, strong validation, and low cost.

     As Hariharan said the cost will be in the Rs 20,000 range  in response to a question, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw said a test in  the US costs a few lakhs.

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