Biocartis and Merck partner to enhance cancer care in MEA

The collaboration aims to streamline RAS biomarker testing, addressing critical cancer diagnostic gaps in the Middle East and North Africa

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New Delhi: Biocartis, headquartered in Mechelen, Belgium, has unveiled an expanded collaboration with Merck Serono Middle East and Merck Saudi Ltd., both affiliates of Merck KGaA (“Merck”), in a joint effort to bolster patient access to RAS biomarker testing in the Middle East and North Africa (MEA) region.
Colorectal cancer (CRC) ranks as the third most prevalent cancer globally, with over 1.9 million new cases annually and approximately 904 thousand deaths yearly. Identifying a patient’s biomarker status is crucial for guiding treatment decisions, especially in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC).
Anti-epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) monoclonal antibody therapies have emerged as standard care for patients with RAS wild-type mCRC, but RAS biomarker testing remains challenging, impeding timely access to personalized cancer care.
Biocartis addresses this diagnostic gap with its Idylla™ KRAS Mutation Test and Idylla™ NRAS-BRAF Mutation Test, highly performant assays designed to rapidly determine RAS biomarker status in mCRC tumor tissue samples. Leveraging the user-friendly Idylla™ Platform, these tests can be deployed across diverse healthcare settings, ensuring widespread access to biomarker testing.
Roger Moody, Chief Executive Officer of Biocartis, expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, “We are thrilled to announce the expansion of our collaboration with Merck in the Middle East and North Africa (MEA) region, aimed at advancing healthcare solutions and ensuring timely and accurate diagnostics for mCRC patients. In our mission to enable universal access to personalized medicine for patients around the world, Biocartis is proud to provide Idylla™’s cutting-edge technology for mCRC testing across countries in the MEA region. This collaboration underscores our shared dedication to overcoming the challenges in the healthcare environment of the MEA region and ensuring that patients receive the right medicine at the right time.”
Ramsey Morad, Senior Vice President & Head of MEAR (Middle East, Africa, Turkey & Russia/CIS) at Merck, echoed these sentiments, “In line with our commitment at Merck to enhance patient care in the MEA region, we are happy to collaborate with Biocartis in addressing the critical need for improved access to RAS biomarker testing, particularly in areas where such testing is not readily available. By leveraging Biocartis’ RAS-testing platform, we are confident this will allow treating oncologists to swiftly determine biomarker status and facilitate timely treatment decisions for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.”