World Health Organisation’s (WHO) strategy to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide could provide a significant market opportunity for its real-time screening technology for cervical cancer.
Cervical cancer technology company TruScreen (NZX:TRU) (‘The Company’) expects that the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) strategy to eliminate cervical cancer worldwide could provide a significant market opportunity for its real-time screening technology for cervical cancer.
The WHO strategy document, entitled “Global Strategy Towards the Elimination of Cervical Cancer as a Public Health Problem” , opens up a favourable macro environment for the Company’s screening technology.
The document calls for a comprehensive global approach to put the 184 WHO member countries on the same path to eliminate cervical cancer by the end of the century and proposes screening targets for the period 2020-2030.
To achieve cervical cancer elimination in the shortest period, WHO notes that screening, vaccination and treatment must be pursued in combination. It proposes a target of 70 per cent of women between 35 and 45 years of age in WHO member countries to be screened with a high-precision test by 2030.
WHO notes that to achieve this target, innovative and optimal service delivery models need to be adopted, particularly in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) where cervical cancer incidence and mortality rates are high. TruScreen is currently the only electro-optical real-time cervical screening method available in LMICs.
The WHO strategy is currently in draft stage. Subject to WHO member countries consultation, the strategy is expected to be tabled for adoption at the 73rd World Health Assembly in May 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland.
“We look forward to the finalised WHO cervical cancer global strategy in 2020 which we believe supports the current favourable macro environment for the Company,” said TruScreen CEO Martin Dillon.
“We continue to expand our presence in LMICs by strengthening relations with Key Opinion Leaders, NGOs and government organisations.”
TruScreen aims to make its device the screening method of choice for LMICs. The Truscreen technology was acknowledged in the May 2019 Unitaid/WHO/Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI) report presented to the WHO Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, as a suitable cervical cancer screening method for use in LMICs.
TruScreen continues to make strong progress in its market development programs in key LMICs, including in:
• China – A recent 20,000 patient trial conducted by the Chinese Obstetrics and Gynaecology Association (COGA) produced positive interim results
• Zimbabwe – The National AIDS Council selected TruScreen to provide screening for HIV-affected women
• Mexico – TruScreen facilitated a meeting between Unitaid strategy and programme managers and the National Institute of Cancer (INCan) for Mexico’s cervical cancer screening strategy. INCan is a decentralised organisation operating under Mexico’s Ministry of Health, providing specialised medical care to cancer patients
• Vietnam – A TruScreen pilot programme approved by the country’s Ministry of Health Professional Advisory Committee has commenced. The programme will evaluate the Company’s technology in 1,000 patients prior to a national rollout.
Globally, cervical cancer is the fourth most common cancer in women, with more than half a million diagnosed with the disease in 2018 . In LMICs, cervical cancer is the second most common form of cancer among women. About 90 per cent of deaths from cervical cancer occur in these countries .