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Mitra Biotech prescribes the perfect drug for cancer

Shubhra Rishi | July 22, 2014
A technology platform that uses data analytics allows Mitra Biotech to find the most effective cancer drug for specific patients in seven days--exponentially faster than traditional methods.

"The accuracy level of the analytical system is extremely high, ranging between 90 and 95 percent," says Dr. Sundaram.

 Rx Accuracy

The CANScriptTM model, with its data analytics framework, doesn't only provide faster results than traditional models, it can also ensure more accurate results.  

 Dr. Sundaram cites the example of a 57 year-old male suffering from head and neck cancer. The patient's first line of treatment with Cisplatin, Docetaxel and 5-FU (CDF) failed. CDF is the most often prescribed drug for first line of treatment.

They performed CANScriptTM analysis on his tissues with a list of drug combinations recommended by his physician. One of the drugs in the list was a combination of Cetuximab+Cisplatin+5-FU — usually not recommended during the initial stages of treatment.  "But as it turned out, CANScriptTM helped us identify the right drug and it was effective in ensuring a complete response from the patient," says Dr. Sundaram.

This exercise of eliminating trial-and-error not only avoids delay in delivering the right treatment but also saves the patient unnecessary toxicity and side effects. It also has huge cost benefits. "There are lots of other patients with solid as well as hematological cancers who have benefitted from our technology," says Dr. Majumder.

There are other types of cancers that Mitra Biotech is helping patients with. HER2+ cancer, for instance, is a type of breast cancer. Herceptin is one of the drugs recommended to HER2+ patients and can cost lakhs in treatment in India. The drug, however, may not be effective on all patients suffering from HER2+ type breast cancer, and could result in patients spending enormous amounts of money. "Only 35-40 percent of the patients respond to the treatment," says Dr. Sundaram.

 Mitra Biotech is partnering with leading Indian and American cancer hospitals such as Tata Memorial Hospital, Mazumdar-Shaw Cancer Centre, HCG Cancer Care Network, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America.  Last year in October, Mitra Biotech raised funding of about Rs 40 crore from Tata Capital Innovations Fund, along with existing investors such as India Innovation Fund and Accel Partners.

"We wish to ease the treatment cycle for patients and support their fight against cancer by helping them choose the appropriate drug," says Dr. Sundaram.

Going forward, the company hopes to optimize its technology platform and strengthen the process of drug discovery and help cancer patients find the perfect drug.

We'll probably never have the blue whale's ability to resist cancer, but with CANScriptTM, it may be possible to address cancer faster.   


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