18th December 2020: Zurich, Switzerland and London, UK - BC Platforms, a global leader in clinical and genomic data management, analytics and access, today announced it is providing its discovery and research platform BC|INSIGHT to enable ground-breaking medical research into the early diagnosis of lung cancer in order to save lives. Lung cancer is the biggest cause of cancer death in the UK and worldwide.
The consortium is led by the Universities of Southampton and Leeds, together with healthcare, diagnostics and informatics companies, to test the best way of detecting cancers at a stage when they can still be cured, linking to the NHS England Lung Health Checks programme. In addition to BC Platforms, the research collaborators include Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Oncimmune, Inivata and others.
As well as targeting increased survival rates, the project – called ‘iDx-LUNG’ – aims to improve the efficiency of testing in people at high risk of cancer. This project, which is coordinated by the Cancer Research UK/NIHR Southampton Clinical Trials Unit, will ask 15,000 people who attend NHS England lung health checks at mobile CT scanners in Hampshire and Yorkshire to give blood samples and nasal swabs for testing. The samples will be analysed for changes that could indicate early cancer development.
The tests being used have been developed by the companies working together in the consortium but have never been used in combination or with CT scanning. BC Platforms’ BC|INSIGHT will be used as the software platform to deliver rapid insights through data harmonization, management and analysis of the research data.
Peter Johnson, Professor of Medical Oncology at the University of Southampton, who is leading the project, said: "We urgently need to find ways to detect lung cancer early, to drive up people’s chances of a cure. This unique collaborative effort between universities, the NHS and companies with ground-breaking technologies is aimed at doing just that.”
Tero Silvola, CEO of BC Platforms, commented: 'We are delighted to support this consortium in order to enable the early detection of lung cancer. Our BC|INSIGHT platform can support a rapid and co-ordinated analysis of data to make informed decisions regarding patients at highest risk of developing lung cancer.'
The iDx-Lung research project is part of the UK’s Government’s Early Diagnosis Mission to diagnose three-quarters of cancers at an early stage by 2028, is able to go ahead thanks to approximately £3.5million-worth of funding from the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), part of a total investment of £10 million in the programme overall.