Ovarian cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among women worldwide. In Taiwan, it ranks as the no. 7 cause of death for women, taking the lives of more than 600 each year, with another 1,600 being diagnosed. In a technological collaboration with the world-renowned SOPHiA Genetics, Sofiva Genomics Ltd. is launching a new HRD test that incorporates illumina’s sequencing technology. The new test will drastically increase the detection rate for ovarian cancer to 50% and assist clinical oncologists in identifying the most appropriate medication, marking a new page in precision medicine for cancer patients. The potential market value of this new test is estimated at around NT$ 80–100 million.
In the past, early diagnosis of ovarian cancer had been a great challenge. More often than not, patients only found out about the disease when it had progressed to the terminal stage, and their only treatment options were surgical resection and chemotherapy. Through recent advancements in clinical medicine, however, ovarian cancer treatment has become more tailored, with strategies of precision medicine and targeted therapy being favored over more traditional treatment means. Even so, the current BRCA1/2 genetic tests on the market can only identify around 22% of ovarian cancer patients who are suitable for targeted drug therapy.
According to Sofiva Genomics’ general manager Chia-cheng Hung, the company is working alongside clinical data analytics firm SOPHiA Genetics and leading genetic sequencing provider illumina Sequencing Technology to capitalize on their combined global AI computing resources and genetic sequencing expertise. “With our own clinical testing technologies, the SOPHiA DDMTM AI service, and illumina’s genetic sequencing platform, we are delivering the new HRD test, a high-quality testing service, directly to the hands of clinical oncologists and, in turn, giving patients the most appropriate precision medicine treatment alternatives,” says Hung.
Hung continues, “Sofiva Genomics prides itself in its focus on market needs. Recently, we have extended our genetic testing services to targeted drug therapy for cancers prevalent in women, including breast and ovarian cancer. Most importantly, the entire testing process is performed locally at Taiwanese laboratories. The new HRD test is a great example of our comprehensive “localization” goal, which means that we are able to construct our own in-house databases and retain all rights to acquired genetic data, significantly reducing our reliance on foreign testing companies while safeguarding our customers’ privacy.”
“HRD-positive results are most commonly found in ovarian cancer, breast cancer, and prostate cancer patients. In the long run, we are looking to bring this new HRD test to the selection of targeted drugs for more types of cancer in the future,” Hung concludes.