Berry Oncology Partners with Alibaba Health to Create China's Early Cancer Screening Ecosystem

2021-06-21 21:00 998

BEIJING, June 21, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Berry Oncology Corporation, a member company of Berry Genomics, and Alibaba Health have signed a strategic agreement to jointly build a comprehensive cancer screening and prevention ecosystem based on a strategy that combines internet connectivity, early cancer screening technology and medical safety.

Berry Oncology and Alibaba Health sign strategic partnership
Berry Oncology and Alibaba Health sign strategic partnership

A multi-dimensional partnership with public benefit

In recent years, the incidence and mortality of malignant tumors in China have risen, making it one of the major factors threatening public health. The Healthy China 2030 plan has made early prevention and treatment of cancers a priority. The plan aims to achieve an overall five-year survival rate of at least 43.3% by 2022 and 46.6% by 2030 among cancer patients. It also aims to reach a 55% – and rising – rate of early diagnosis for major high-incidence cancer types, as well as implement regular screening for individuals at a higher risk of cancer.

To achieve these goals, many practical challenges need to be overcome, such as how to incorporate more public resources in promoting cancer prevention and early treatment, and how to better standardize early diagnosis and treatment among health professionals. As the types of high-risk tumors, along with business and clinical environments found in China are quite different from those in Europe and the United States, simply copying systems used elsewhere will not effectively solve these problems. Therefore, it's imperative to create a program for early screening that meets the needs of Chinese people.

This partnership is one of the solutions that has been jointly explored by leading Chinese companies in various fields in order to meet these challenges. Alibaba Health and Berry Oncology will combine their superior resources to partner in areas such as medical products and services, disease prevention, health management services, science education and big data, providing patients with comprehensive care using a brand-new precision medical service platform.

Berry Oncology and partners achieve early diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancers

Berry Oncology's technology, developed using its wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of early cancer screening, is a key piece in the development of the cancer prevention and treatment ecosystem. With a total investment of more than $31 million, Berry Oncology's PreCar Project (Prospective suRveillance for very Early hepatocelluar CARcinoma) is the first and only ultra-large-scale, forward-looking cohort study for early-stage liver cancer screening in China based on next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology. It is also the world's largest and fastest-growing prospective liver cancer cohort study.

In February, an article published by PreCar researchers in the renowned medical journal Cell Research demonstrated that the project's early cancer screening technology, called HIFI, can be used at any stage of liver cancer, and provides the most accurate clinical data to date for identifying liver cancer. In April, PreCar announced the launch of an extended Phase II study of the technology's clinical application to broaden its use beyond early liver cancer screening to comprehensive disease management.

Alibaba Health chose Berry Oncology as a strategic partner precisely for its technological advantages. The companies will use an online-offline integrated health services model to provide reliable and palpable full-course liver cancer solutions for individuals at higher risks of contracting the disease. Notably, Berry Oncology's new early liver cancer screening product called "Lai Si Ning," which employs HIFI screening technology, will be a core technology powering the development of the ecosystem. Providing product and support allows the company to also add value and service guarantees. Studies show Lai Si Ning is able to detect liver cancer 6-12 months earlier and more accurately than traditional methods, providing a valuable window of opportunity for clinical intervention. Consumers can purchase Lai Si Ning directly from Alibaba's e-commerce platform Taobao.

The two parties have begun exploring the partnership and are providing individuals suffering from liver disease with China's first hepatopathy medical insurance, called "Hao Yao Bao." The insurance, which patients can find in the Taobao ecommerce platform, combines consultancy with early cancer screening products.

"This partnership is an extensive exploration of health protection services, based on Alibaba Health's comprehensive medical service capabilities and Berry Oncology's highly specialized genome detection technologies and large-scale clinical research. We will use technological innovation to design new health management solutions to combat more diseases," said Chen Bo, Vice President at Alibaba Health.

"Alibaba Health and Berry Oncology have unique advantages in their respective fields, and this partnership will bring results greater than the sum of its parts. Both parties will make use of their unique strengths to provide patients and families with technology, healthcare and comprehensive, guaranteed service. For Berry Oncology, the establishment of a Chinese program for early cancer screening and prevention must integrate all aspects of the business, including commerce, clinical work, technology and the industrial chain. Today's partnership is an important step, and the company will continue to deepen its collaboration with partners in the future. We will continue to expand our early tumor screening product lines and inject new momentum into research in early screening for China's high-incidence tumors in order to provide better healthcare and ultimately realize the mission of 'Diagnose all cancers early, treat all patients precisely,'" said Berry Oncology CEO Zhou Jun.

About Berry Oncology

Berry Oncology, founded in 2017 as a member company of Berry Genomics, focuses on genetic testing of cancers. Driven by the mission of "Diagnose all cancers early, treat all patients precisely", Berry Oncology has established for cancer patients and high-risk population a complete system of genetic testing products and services, including tumor genetic susceptibility analysis, early screening, as well as as companion diagnostics, response monitoring and prognosis prediction of both targeted and immune therapies. For cancer early detection, we have launched a series of clinical research projects for early screening and early diagnosis, covering liver cancer, lung cancer, gynecologic cancer, and etc. Berry Oncology has three centers (manufacture, supercomputing, R&D) located in Fuzhou and Beijing. We serve and cooperate with more than 600 Class 3A hospitals across the country, and have provided valuable genetic testing services for hundreds of thousands of patients.

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About Alibaba Health

Alibaba Health is the healthcare flagship of Alibaba Group. With the support of e-commerce, logistics, big data, and cloud computing from Alibaba Group, Alibaba Health has been dedicated to establishing a reliable and affordable healthcare services system as part of the commitment to achieve "good medicines, renowned doctors and assurance." Alibaba Health's mission is to "promote healthy living of 120 years for everyone." Its ultimate goal is to dedicate 10 years to 20 years of hard work to build the largest and most complete healthcare infrastructure in China and becoming the "professional caretaker of every person and his/her family." Alibaba Health's user number continues to grow. Its annual active users on Tmall's Pharmaceutical Platform exceeded 280 million and the annual active users on Alipay healthcare channel reached over 520 million during the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021.

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Source: Berry Oncology