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Indo-Finnish Collaboration on Remote Health Screening & Monitoring: Oral Cancer

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On April 10th 2017 the Department of Biotechnology of India, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Platforms (C-CAMP) and Aqsens Health Pvt Ltd have with the support of Team Finland and collaborating local partners launch a long-term collaboration project to validate and bring to the market saliva based oral cancer screening method developed by Finnish Aqsens Health Ltd. The parties have collaborated in this area for a couple of years, and with this announced cooperation they will reinforce their joint commitment on remote health monitoring in India.

With the advent of Aqsens, a Finnish Company, on its campus, C-CAMP opens its doors to International companies. Aqsens Health is working on a crucial Indian problem, oral cancer. Oral cancer as we know is a huge disease burden for India and needs interventions for management and prevention of the disease. C-Camp is happy to collaborate with Aqsens fostering global partnerships and working together on finding solutions, which will have huge social impact.

Remote health monitoring is becoming an increasingly important area for national healthcare, especially for countries with large population or national diseases. Having a cost-efficient and mobile method to screen and monitor diseases like oral cancer will have a significant impact both on the humanity level but also socio-economically. Aqsens Health is committed to finalising the testings of the method and to productise the method into a solution that enables non-invasive, fast, easy and affordable screening and monitoring of oral cancer, even in rural conditions. The final testing phase before product-readiness shall now start with the support from the aforementioned parties and in collaboration for example with Biocon Foundation who acts as a collaboration partner in the testing project. With the help of all collaborating parties Aqsens Health’s intention is to enable India providing affordable access to healthcare. In the long term the parties wish to explore possibilities for screening and monitoring other diseases and exporting the product from India to other regions.

“At Aqsens Health we have developed a unique method that has a promise to meet all critical elements of sensitivity, non-invasiveness, mobility and further it can be offered affordable cost. The technology originates from the University of Turku and it has been further developed to reach these very special requirements and now with this final step we aim to bring it fully to India”, says Aqsens Health Pvt Ltd Chairman Timo Teimonen.

“With signing of the letter of Intent between C-Camp and Aqsens Health, we send a message that we welcome global companies to come and set up at an early-stage in India. We aim to create an environment, which allows ideas, knowledge and best practices to be exchanged across the world and fostered. There is much to be learned and gained from each other and the timing is just right where India is concerned. India is ready to collaborate with public and private organisations across the world for sustainable human benefit and the protection of the planet’s future” Prof K. VijayRaghavan, Secretary, DBT

“I am happy to see how India and Finland can collaborate in mutually beneficial and concrete manner, and especially in an area which we both feel exceptionally important and interesting – remote health monitoring. In this collaboration there is one other interesting aspect, a startup contributing on socio-economical scale and working with highly respected parties like Department of Biotechnology in India and other excellent Indian cooperation partners. This all is a reflection of Finnish new startup culture and I hope it will encourage many similar collaboration projects in both directions”, says Nina Vaskunlahtii, Ambassador of Finland.