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Startup Mission, Malabar Cancer Centre to promote cancer care startups

BL Kochi Bureau | Updated on: Jan 13, 2022
Tech reigns: There will be a sharper focus on technology

Tech reigns: There will be a sharper focus on technology | Photo Credit: ismagilov

While the MCC will bring in medical expertise, the Startup Mission can provide infra and funding

Kerala Startup Mission has inked an MoU with the Malabar Cancer Centre for establishing a Cancer Care Startup Ecosystem in the State.

The MoU documents were signed and exchanged by B Satheesan, Director, MCC and John M Thomas, CEO, KSUM, at Infopark in Kochi.

The MCC, based in Thalassery in Kannur provides comprehensive cancer care for North Kerala, neighboring parts of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu besides Mahe, a district in the Union Territory of Puducherry. An autonomous not-for-profit institution funded by the state government, MCC is engaged in state-of-the-art R&D.

John M Thomas, CEO, KSUM, said “a medical incubator for cancer research will bring together experts in the relevant fields to spur cross-functional innovation.”

The incubator would be located at Kerala Technology Innovation Zone, Kinfra Hi-Tech Park, Kalamassery.

While the MCC will bring in medical expertise and awareness of biggest problems that need to be solved, the Startup Mission, which has access to the broader startup ecosystem including the IEDC network in arts, science and engineering colleges, can bring in experts and form enterprises that can solve problems. It can also provide them with required infrastructure and funding, Thomas said.

The pact will facilitate the MCC and KSUM to bring together researchers and startups to create solutions for early detection of cancer.

Early cancer detection

Some cancers are very common in our part of the world, especially lung cancer and breast cancer and their incidence are actually going up. So, we want to see if we can detect them early so that curative treatments can be provided and morbidity and mortality of these cancers can be reduced,” said Satheesan.

Eradication of cervical cancers is another area that the MCC wants to explore. “For that we need a state-centric approach. We need to explore if solutions like testing for cervical cancer can be brought to the doorstep, so that hospital visits and discomfort to people can be reduced, Satheesan added.

Research

MCC also wants to promote research into plant molecules through the endeavour. “The biodiversity in our state is huge and there are lot of plant products which are unexplored. There is always a possibility that some of these plant products could be useful in management of cancer,” he said.

Another potential area is artificial intelligence and IT-enabled solutions for medical problems that can be used to speed-up the diagnosis and reduce errors.

In the first phase, the KSUM and MCC would collaborate to identify potential startups, which are into the field of research and treatment of cancer and co-develop productsand clinical validation. In the second phase, MCC would join as one of the knowledge partners of BRIC (Centre for Biometric Research, Innovation and Commercialization in Cancer Care) project. The BRIC is cancer-focused incubator that would bring together oncologists and technologists to develop solutions for early detection and diagnosis.

e.o.m.

Published on January 13, 2022
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