February 9, 2021
[Left to Right] Professor Tan Chorh Chuan (Chief Health Scientist, Ministry of Health), Professor Lim Soon Thye (Co-Executive Director of STCC and Deputy Medical Director (Clinical) at NCCS), Professor Chng Wee Joo (Executive Director of STCC and Director of NCIS), Mr Ryan Harper (General Manager of Roche Singapore) and Mr Jek Fong (Director, Patient Access and Personalised Healthcare, Roche Singapore) at the Memorandum of Understanding signing ceremony. The ceremony was witnessed by Prof Tan. This unique partnership between public and private sector institutions in Singapore aims to build the foundation for personalised healthcare in Singapore to advance its adoption in cancer care and help improve health outcomes for people with cancer.
SINGAPORE, 9 February 2021: Today, the Singapore Translational Cancer Consortium (STCC), National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS), the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) at the National University Hospital (NUH) and Roche announced a unique and groundbreaking partnership between public and private sector institutions in Singapore aimed at establishing a critical infrastructure to advance the adoption of personalised healthcare in Singapore. Personalised healthcare, which includes precision oncology or personalised cancer care, leverages insights from medical and genomic data to help make more precise treatment decisions for each individual based on their clinical profile.
Building a Foundation for Future Care
As part of the three-year partnership, the STCC, NCCS and NCIS will offer their medical expertise, research insight and data resources to build a clinico-genomic database (CGDB) in Singapore that combines clinical insights and real-world evidence – anonymised data from patients’ responses to medicine and care – with the goal of yielding better patient outcomes. STCC will lead the establishment of a national precision oncology infrastructure for information sharing around comprehensive genomic profiling, molecular tumour boards and outcomes tracking.
“Singapore’s population is ageing and faces a rising incidence of chronic diseases, including cancer. As part of the effort to address this, Singapore has in place various initiatives to advance personalised healthcare in the local healthcare and research community,” said Professor Chng Wee Joo, Executive Director of STCC and Director of NCIS. “This MOU extends this effort in oncology and paves the way towards a data-driven and patient-centric model that would transform healthcare delivery while providing value-based solutions.”
“STCC will embark on the path to develop a precision oncology care model in Singapore and promote institutional-industry collaborations,” said Professor Lim Soon Thye, Co-Executive Director of STCC, Deputy Group Chairman Medical Board at SingHealth and Deputy Medical Director (Clinical) at NCCS. “Together, we will work towards shaping clinical guidelines and healthcare policies based on high quality real-world data that addresses the challenges of growing healthcare demands in Singapore.”
NCCS and NCIS will tap their institutions’ networks of clinical and scientific experts and existing cross-institutional programmes like the SInGapore ImmuNogrAm for Immuno-OncoLogy (SIGNAL) and the Cancer Liquid Biopsies for Real-time diagnostics and early intervention (CaLiBRe) platforms, to expand genomic testing, identify optimal therapeutic strategies for patients and co-develop guidelines for precision oncology and patient access while providing resources to build the personalised healthcare ecosystem.
“In some cancers, comprehensive molecular profiling may enable the most precise treatment to be tailored based on the genetic profiles of patients’ tumours. With advances in diagnostics and treatment, this benefit is expected to expand to even more patients,” said Dr Iain Tan, Senior Consultant Medical Oncologist, NCCS. “This collaboration brings together leaders in cancer care, molecular profiling and data analytics that will further enhance Singapore’s capacity to deliver cutting-edge personalised cancer care and ultimately benefit more patients.”
“The ability to identify and target specific molecular abnormalities in tumours with medicines has transformed cancer management, improved patient outcomes, and led to accelerated advances in cancer therapy. As comprehensive molecular profiling of tumours becomes increasingly routine in cancer care, precision oncology is no longer a pipe dream,” said Associate Professor David Tan, Senior Consultant, Department of Haematology-Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and Head, Innovation Transfer Office (Research Office) at the National University Health System. “This collaboration will help expand access to molecular profiling for our cancer patients, which will in turn enable us to identify the best available treatment options, including clinical trials, for them. We envisage that the results of this project will help us assess the impact of molecular profiling on patient outcomes, and determine the role of comprehensive tumour molecular profiling as a standard of care for future generations of cancer patients in Singapore.”
With genomic profiling of their tumour, a person may have more options to receive personalised care that treats the underlying molecular driver of their disease. Over the past five years, Foundation Medicine (FMI), a molecular information company that is part of the Roche Group, has been providing comprehensive genomic profiling in Singapore to support physicians and patients in these cancer care decisions. To support the application of precision oncology, Roche will provide access to comprehensive genomic profiling by FMI. They will also advise on the design and implementation of the Singapore CGDB based on FMI and Flatiron Health’s CGDB with more than 400,000 patient profiles, which has been used to identify new targets for development of medicines and companion diagnostic tests.
“Insights gained from the collection of high-quality, standardised genomic data in these databases can supplement or amplify clinical studies to help accelerate research and development, which we hope will ultimately optimise healthcare resources and increase chances of survival for even more people with cancer,” said Ryan Harper, General Manager of Roche Singapore. “We are honoured to collaborate with STCC, NCCS and NCIS to do more in the fight against cancer. Together, we can deliver solutions to advance the healthcare system of Singapore with the hope of helping even more people across the region in the future.”
About Singapore Translational Cancer Consortium (STCC)
STCC aims to strengthen the overall impact of cancer research and translation in Singapore by bringing together key basic, clinical and translational teams on joint platforms to actively establish and implement collaborative cancer programmes. STCC strives to establish Singapore as a global leader for oncology in research translation and its applications to health and economic value creation.
STCC is a business unit under the Consortium for Clinical Research and Innovation, Singapore (CRIS), a subsidiary of Ministry of Health Holdings (MOHH) Pte Ltd, and is anchored by the cancer research programmes and commercialisation platforms of STCC’s research partners (NCCS, NCIS, National University of Singapore [NUS] Cancer Science Institute [CSI] and Agency for Science, Technology and Research [A*STAR]).
STCC is supported by the National Research Foundation (NRF) Singapore under its RIE2020 White Space Kickstarter and Open Fund Large Collaborative Grant administered by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council (NMRC).
About Singapore Health Services (SingHealth)
The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre draws on the collective strengths of SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School to drive the transformation of healthcare and provide affordable, accessible, quality healthcare. With over 40 clinical specialties, a network of acute hospitals, national specialty centres, polyclinics and community hospitals, it delivers comprehensive, multi-disciplinary and integrated care. Beyond hospital walls,
SingHealth works closely with community care providers to ensure patients remain well-supported after their discharge and to empower the population to stay healthy and age in place.
For more information, please visit: www.singhealth.com.sg
Members of the SingHealth group
Hospitals (Tertiary Specialty Care):
Singapore General Hospital, Changi General Hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, and Sengkang General Hospital
National Specialty Centres (Tertiary Specialty Care):
National Cancer Centre Singapore, National Dental Centre Singapore, National Heart Centre Singapore, National Neuroscience Institute, and Singapore National Eye Centre
SingHealth Polyclinics (Primary Care):
Bedok, Bukit Merah, Marine Parade, Outram, Pasir Ris, Punggol, Sengkang, Tampines, Eunos (expected completion: 2021) and Tampines North (expected completion: 2022)
SingHealth Community Hospitals (Intermediate and Long-term Care):
Bright Vision Hospital, Sengkang Community Hospital, and Outram Community Hospital
About Duke-NUS Medical School
Duke-NUS is a partnership between Duke University School of Medicine and the National University of Singapore (NUS).
In 2005, with support from the Singapore government, NUS and Duke University, two academic institutions with strong track records in research and education, committed to combine the unique medical education curriculum at Duke University School of Medicine with the academic rigour and rich resources offered by NUS, and to offer students an enriching and innovative medical educational experience. Duke-NUS is located on the main campus of the largest healthcare group in the country, Singapore Health Services (SingHealth). This group collectively delivers multi-disciplinary care among over 40 clinical specialties across a large network of hospitals, national specialty centres and polyclinics.
Together, Duke-NUS and SingHealth constitute a leading, world class Academic Medical Centre embodying the goal of delivering the highest levels of patient care, education and research.
About National Cancer Centre Singapore
NCCS provides a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach to cancer treatment and patient care. We see close to 65 per cent of the public sector oncology cases, and they are benefiting from the sub-specialisation of our clinical oncologists.
To deliver among the best in cancer treatment and care, our clinicians work closely with our scientists who conduct robust cutting-edge clinical and translational research programmes which are internationally recognised. NCCS will also launch its Proton Beam Therapy programme at its new centre. NCCS strives to be a global leading cancer centre, and shares its expertise and knowledge by offering training to local and overseas medical professionals. www.nccs.com.sg
About National University Hospital
NUH is a tertiary hospital and major referral centre with over 50 medical, surgical and dental specialties, offering a comprehensive suite of specialist care for adults, women and children. It is the only public hospital in Singapore to offer a paediatric kidney and liver transplant programme, in addition to kidney, liver and pancreas transplantation for adults.
The hospital was opened on 24 June 1985 as Singapore’s first restructured hospital. Each year, the Hospital attends to more than one million patients.
As an academic health institution, patient safety and good clinical outcomes are the focus of the Hospital. It plays a key role in the training of doctors, nurses, allied health and other healthcare professionals. Translational research is pivotal in the Hospital’s three-pronged focus, and paves the way for new cures and treatment.
A member of the National University Health System, it is the principal teaching hospital of the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and the NUS Faculty of Dentistry.
About National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
NCIS offers a broad spectrum of cancer care and management covering both paediatric and adult cancers, with expertise in prevention, screening, diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care. The Institute’s strength lies in the multi-disciplinary approach taken to develop a comprehensive and personalised plan for each cancer patient and his or her family.
Our award-winning clinician-scientists and clinician-investigators conduct translational research and clinical trials, providing patients with access to evidence-based cancer diagnostics, technology and therapies. For more information about NCIS, please visit www.ncis.com.sg
Roche is a global pioneer in pharmaceuticals and diagnostics focused on advancing science to improve people’s lives. The combined strengths of pharmaceuticals and diagnostics under one roof have made Roche the leader in personalised healthcare – a strategy that aims to fit the right treatment to each patient in the best way possible.
Roche is the world’s largest biotech company, with truly differentiated medicines in oncology, immunology, infectious diseases, ophthalmology and diseases of the central nervous system. Roche is also the world leader in in vitro diagnostics and tissue-based cancer diagnostics, and a frontrunner in diabetes management.
Founded in 1896, Roche continues to search for better ways to prevent, diagnose and treat diseases and make a sustainable contribution to society. The company also aims to improve patient access to medical innovations by working with all relevant stakeholders. More than thirty medicines developed by Roche are included in the World Health Organization Model Lists of Essential Medicines, among them life-saving antibiotics, antimalarials and cancer medicines. Moreover, for the twelfth consecutive year, Roche has been recognised as one of the most sustainable companies in the Pharmaceuticals Industry by the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI).
The Roche Group, headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, is active in over 100 countries and in 2019 employed about 98,000 people worldwide. In 2019, Roche invested CHF 11.7 billion in R&D and posted sales of CHF 61.5 billion. Genentech, in the United States, is a wholly owned member of the Roche Group. Roche is the majority shareholder in Chugai Pharmaceutical, Japan. For more information, please visit www.roche.com.
SINGAPORE - The development of mRNA-based cancer vaccines in Singapore is being funded by the Ministry of Health (MOH), as part of its support for “competitive cancer research projects” here, said Senior Minister of State for Health Janil Puthucheary.
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