The European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (EUCOPE) and selected pharma and medical device companies have launched the European Coalition for Access to Comprehensive Genomic Profiling (ECGP), to promote the routine use of comprehensive genomic profiling.

The ECGP aims to create multi-stakeholder outputs that will support wider coverage and reimbursement for genomic profiling through three key objectives. The first of these involves raising awareness of the role of comprehensive  genomic profiling by convening decision-maker and stakeholder roundtables to promote the exchange of best practices to foster the use of comprehensive  genomic profiling in clinical practice, per a 19 June announcement. Through such efforts, the initiative aims to improve future cancer care in the European region where routine testing remains limited.

The ECGP will also collect clinical, economic, and operational evidence of the practice’s potential use. Lastly, the initiative will gather evidence and perspectives on optimal access pathways.  EUCOPE launched the initiative in collaboration with companies such as Illumina, MSD, and Novartis.

“Our commitment is to lead and engage in partnerships across the entire medicine lifecycle to find actionable solutions that benefit patients, healthcare systems, our members, and society overall. ECGP will address an important access gap for European cancer patients and enable the shift of our healthcare systems towards personalised medicine,” stated Alexander Natz, EUCOPE’s Secretary-General, in a statement featured in the announcement.

Comprehensive genomic profiling utilises next generation sequencing technology that maps a patient’s genome for any alterations and signatures, which play a role in cancer. This means that comprehensive  genomic profiling would be used to detect the main classes of these signatures to determine whether a patient is eligible for clinical trials, targeted therapies, and immunotherapies.

According to the announcement, access to this technology remains limited, partly due to the current framework for funding and reimbursement. This means that some patients may not have access to targeted cancer treatments. At the same time, access to single biomarker genomic tests and those based on a limited number of genes has improved.

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Genomics play an important role in the “Europe’s Beating Cancer Plan”, which was presented by the European Commission (EC) in February 2021. This includes the Cancer Diagnostic and Treatment for All initiative, which seeks to improve access to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer through personalised medicine to individuals, cancer patients and survivors in EU’s member states. That includes the use of next generation sequencing that will be used in a patient’s personalised cancer diagnosis and treatment.