Australian cancer patients to get improved access to clinical trials

17 March 2022: Australian cancer patients will get improved access to local clinical trials through a new public-private partnership consortium, PrOSPECT, which today announced a funding agreement that is expected to enable a significant increase in local cancer clinical trial participation.

PrOSPECT – Precision Oncology Screening Platform Enabling Clinical Trials – is a collaboration of organisations that has partnered with the Federal and NSW Governments to expand access to comprehensive genomic profiling for cancer patients and enable clinical trial access.

Medicines Australia member, Roche Australia, is one of the foundational partners of PrOSPECT.

Medicines Australia welcomes the announcement of the $185 million project, which is a product of the Federal Government’s Modern Manufacturing Initiative.

“The significant new funding announced today will improve Australian patient access to the latest medical breakthroughs in cancer treatments,” said Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer.

“Roche’s expertise in genomic medicine and the power of partnership between key health organisations and governments is a demonstration of capable collaboration in action.”

“Thousands of Australian cancer patients currently have limited options for treatment, or face delays.”

“Supported by PrOSPECT, the Omico Precision Oncology Screening Platform will mean cutting-edge research and innovative medicines can now be discovered on home soil. Discoveries being made in Australia mean patients won’t have to wait as long for the latest breakthroughs to come from overseas.”

The new platform will attract new clinical trials to Australia and increase enrolment numbers by screening more than 20,000 Australians with incurable cancers, through a national network of cancer centres.

Ms de Somer said cutting edge research and clinical trials allow patients to access new innovative breakthroughs and provide enormous benefits for Australia’s health system.

“Clinical trials create highly skilled jobs, grow the economy, and place Australian patients at the front of the queue for innovative treatments,” Ms de Somer said.

“Australia is a world leader in genomic research and precision medicine. Today’s announcement will bolster Australia’s growing regional presence on the international stage as we work towards more landmark discoveries to fight cancer.”

“Medicines Australia congratulates Omico, Roche, the Federal Government and other members of the PrOSPECT network on this important initiative.”

Ms de Somer said today’s announcement is further proof that investing in science and medicine to plan for future health events such as pandemics or the emergence and spread of diseases must be a priority for governments.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of ensuring Australian patients have quick access to the latest discoveries in medicines, vaccines, and treatments in times of health crises and emergencies,” Ms de Somer said.

“To be better prepared for the future, Australia must do all it can to secure faster global and local supply of innovative medicines, vaccines, and treatments to protect the Australian population, and remove any roadblocks to efficient supply.

“The Medicines Australia Strategic Agreement with the Federal Government prioritises creating the new pathways and funding models needed to encourage innovative technologies, including precision, genomic medicines.

“The first independent review of Australia’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) system – a key pillar of the Strategic Agreement – begins in July 2022.”

“The HTA review – one of the biggest health reforms in Australia for 30 years – will bring about bold changes to speed up access to vital medicines for the Australian population.”

“Medicines Australia will advocate strongly for the next Federal Government to make the HTA review one of its highest priorities,” Ms de Somer said.


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About Medicines Australia

Medicines Australia leads the research-based medicines industry of Australia. Our members discover, develop and manufacture prescription pharmaceutical products, biotherapeutic products and vaccines that bring health, social and economic benefits to Australia. Our members invest in Australian medical research and take local discoveries and developments to the world.

Our mission is to drive policy outcomes in partnership with government, health sector organisations and the community which will ensure Australians have universal, affordable, and fast access to treatments that keep pace with advancements in medicine.