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PATH partners with AstraZeneca and Qure.ai to increase lung cancer detection in low-and-middle income countries

March 3, 2022 by PATH

The three organizations will collaborate to apply an innovative artificial intelligence (AI) technology in the interpretation of radiology images to increase early detection of lung cancer and ultimately reduce mortality rates across emerging markets.

India, March 3, 2022 – PATH, AstraZeneca, and Qure.ai announced a partnership to improve lung health in low- to middle-income countries through cutting-edge technology with the potential to identify early-stage lung cancer and improve cure rates.

Since December 2020, AstraZeneca has been partnering with Qure.ai through the A.Catalyst Network: a global network of more than 20 AstraZeneca health innovation hubs committed to advancing cutting-edge science and building a sustainable future.

Now PATH brings its existing network in countries with high TB incidence to the partnership, which can be leveraged to identify clinics screening for lung cancer in addition to tuberculosis. Qure.ai’s artificial intelligence (AI) technology, which is already being utilized in some of these clinics to screen TB only, can now expand its capability, ensuring that more patients can be assessed by a single chest X‑ray that will screen for TB, lung cancer and other potential lung diseases.

The new initiative could be life‑changing for lung cancer patients. In certain countries, between 70 to 86 per cent of lung cancer patients are diagnosed after the disease has spread beyond the lungs. In early diagnosed patients, the 5-year survival rate can be as high as 92%, however, prognosis worsens for patients diagnosed at Stage IV to a maximum 5-year survival rate of 10%.

PATH’s role will also include stakeholder mapping, liaison, and advocacy, as well as promoting and recommending public health programmes on the importance and impact of screening beyond the detection of TB, especially for indeterminate pulmonary nodules (IPN) and lung cancer.

“Few healthcare systems take advantage of AI and technology to advance respiratory care outcomes. PATH is pleased to partner with AstraZeneca and Qure.ai to scale the use of AI for broader lung health screening and accelerate linkages to diagnosis to improve treatment outcomes and quality of care.”, said Neeraj Jain, Country Director at PATH India.

AstraZeneca will leverage its knowledge of lung cancer as a disease area, to recommend referral sites and provide recommendations to ensure an integrated screening approach. “Lung cancer represents a significant burden in low- to middle-income countries where access to screening is limited and rarely happens at early stages, when cure may be possible. Innovative technology has the potential to transform the delivery of healthcare and, through our partnership, we hope to be one step closer to the bold ambition to one day eliminate lung cancer as a cause of death.”, said Leon Wang, Executive Vice President International and China Country President, AstraZeneca.

Qure.ai will continue to deploy its AI technologies as part of the three-way collaboration. “This consortium is working to change the way lung health is approached, and we are delighted to be part of it. By applying what we’ve learned from working with infectious lung diseases and leveraging the power of technology, we can detect lung disorders earlier – leading to better patient outcomes at lower costs. We’re coming together to make lung health more accessible, affordable and universal while keeping patients at the forefront.”, said Prashant Warier, CEO and Founder of Qure.ai.

About AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca (LSE/STO/Nasdaq: AZN) is a global, science-led biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the discovery, development, and commercialization of prescription medicines in Oncology, Rare Diseases, and Biopharmaceuticals, including Cardiovascular, Renal & Metabolism, and Respiratory & Immunology. Based in Cambridge, UK, AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide. Media contact: Ana Zainaghi (Ana.Zainaghi@astrazeneca.com)

About Qure.ai

Qure.ai is a breakthrough Artificial Intelligence (AI) solution provider that is disrupting the radiology ‘status quo’ by enhancing imaging accuracy and improving health outcomes with the assistance of machine learning supported tools. Qure.ai taps deep learning technology to provide automated interpretation of radiology exams like X-rays, CTs and MRI scans for time and resource-strapped medical imaging professionals—enabling faster diagnosis and speed to treatment. Media contact: Reena Rajan (Reena.Rajan@qure.ai)

About PATH
PATH is a global non-profit dedicated to achieving health equity. With more than 40 years of experience forging multisector partnerships, and with expertise in science, economics, technology, advocacy, and dozens of other specialties, PATH develops and scales up innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing health challenges. Media contact: Bhoomika Srivastava (bsrivastava@path.org)

References:

The Global Cancer Observatory. Lung. December 2020. https://gco.iarc.fr/today. Accessed 24 February 2022

World Health Organization. Fact sheet: Tuberculosis. 14 October 2021. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/tuberculosis. Accessed 24 February 2022.

Global Data. EpiCast Report: Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC) – Epidemiology Forecast to 2025. 1 November 2016. https://store.globaldata.com/report/gdhcer132-16--epicast-report-non-small-cell-lung-cancer-nsclc-epidemiology-forecast-to-2025. Accessed 24 February 2022

Goldstraw P, Chansky K, Crowley J, et al. The IASLC Lung Cancer Staging Project: Proposals for Revision of the TNM Stage Groupings in the Forthcoming (Eighth) Edition of the TNM Classification for Lung Cancer. J Thorac Oncol. 2016;11(1):39–51.