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Industry Groups Form European Coalition to Push for Better Comprehensive Genomic Profiling Access

NEW YORK – Organizations advocating for drug and diagnostics innovation have formed the European Coalition for Access to Comprehensive Genomic Profiling (ECGP) in an effort to improve access and reimbursement of comprehensive genomic profiling in the region.

The European Confederation of Pharmaceutical Entrepreneurs (EUCOPE), a trade association for health technology companies, partnered with molecular diagnostics firms Exact Sciences and Guardant Health, sequencing platform provider Illumina, and drugmakers Merck Sharp & Dohme and Novartis to form the coalition. ECGP will work with patients, clinicians, pathologists, and industry to identify and share best practices for facilitating patient access to CGP and develop evidence-based policy recommendations based on the clinical and economic utility of CGP for payors and other decision-makers.

The coalition said that current funding and reimbursement frameworks in Europe limit cancer patients' access to genomic profiling and, in turn, hinder their chance to receive potentially life-changing targeted cancer treatments. "It's vital that we speak with one voice to payors when it comes to improving access to cancer diagnostics, treatments, and patient care," Bas Verhoef, head of Europe at Illumina, said in a statement.

ECGP has three objectives: to raise awareness; to gather clinical, economic, and operational evidence; and to evolve funding as well as pricing and reimbursement frameworks for CGP. To raise awareness of the role of CGP in precision medicine and determine access barriers, ECGP will host decision-maker and stakeholder roundtables. The group aims to gather clinical, economic, and operational evidence from real-world data and will gather evidence on access pathways and the patient diagnostic journey to support health technology assessments and payor reimbursement decisions.

The group will invite interested stakeholders to participate in its efforts in the coming months.

"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," Alexander Natz, secretary-general of EUCOPE, said in a statement. "ECGP will address an important access gap for European cancer patients and enable the shift of our healthcare systems towards personalized medicine."