India will get its first cancer technology incubator at the Kerala Technology Innovation Zone in KINFRA Hi-Tech Park, Kochi, to create India-focused innovations and developments in the cancer care sector, reported New India Express.
Floated by Cochin Cancer Research Centre (CCRC), the incubator will support in converting research into entrepreneurship in the cancer care sector. The incubator will also get research support from University of Illinois, which have recently signed an MoU with Kerala.
CRCC, which will help the incubator with its clinical expertise, will sign an MoU with KSUM on January 13.
Setup by Kerala Startup Mission (KSUM), the nodal agency of Government of Kerala for entrepreneurship development and incubation activities in the state, the new centre is Called as “Centre for Biomedical Research, Innovation and Commercialization in Cancer” (BRICS).
The incubator will focus on technology innovations in cancer care, frugal innovations that can improve the access of best cancer treatment for the public, sector-specific fintech innovations and converting academic researches to products.
The incubator will have Deep Tech infrastructure, various labs for cancer research including Cytology, and an advanced prototype creation and validation facility.
Each startup selected for the incubation will get a maximum incubation period of three years without extension and it is due to the fact that gestation period in cancer research is relatively higher. However if recommended by an an expert committee then an additional one year will be considered as an extension.
KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath, said in a media statement, “We are providing the basic infrastructure now. We hope that international start-ups and companies will join in future. Developing countries have a bigger cancer challenge because of late detection and financial issues. The solutions created here should increase the productivity of doctors, too,” said KSUM CEO Dr Saji Gopinath.
According to Dr Moni Abraham Kuriakose, Director at CCRC, “Most of the studies are done abroad and purely based on the needs and types of diseases faced by their population. We need a unique platform for ourselves and this would be the first step towards it. The use of imported technology is also the reason why the cost of cancer care treatment goes high. If we can develop our own technology, the expenses will also go down.”
“We will be guiding the programme by bringing out the key areas where research and innovation is necessary. Our doctors will help out in their specific field of expertise.”, he said.
Industry partnership with private players like Biocon, Siemens Healthineers, NeST Technologies, and IBS are being explored in order to address the issue of marketing channels for the products in future.
India contributes to 7.8% of the global cancer burden and 8.33% of global deaths due to cancer and was reported that the number of new cancer cases in India was 1,219,649 in 2016.
According to the National Institute of Cancer Prevention and Research (NICPR), for every two women newly diagnosed with breast cancer in India, one woman dies of it.
To recall, it was in year 2016 when two Kerala-based researchers — Dr. Manzoor Koyakutty and Dr. Shantikumar V. Nair, have had developed a technology alongside a gadget that will detect cancer within 30 minutes. Working at Amrita Center for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine, the researchers have even got international patent for same and an allocation of Rs 60 lakh funds from the Department of Biotechnology, Government of India.