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RareCan Wins Gold for Innovative Brain Tumour Clinical Trial Screening Service

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Hexham-based startup RareCan has been awarded Gold in this year’s Patient Partnership Index for launching an innovative clinical trial screening service for patients with brain tumours. This initiative is in partnership with leading charities brainstrust, OurBrainBank, The Brain Tumour Charity, and US biotech Fore Biotherapeutics.

Brain cancer is a devastating disease with severe impacts on patients and their families. The five-year survival rate for malignant brain tumours is only about 36%, and this drops to just 5% for glioblastoma, the most aggressive type, with an average life expectancy of just 12-18 months from diagnosis.

The primary goal of RareCan’s screening service is to match the right patients with the right clinical trials. This approach benefits cancer patients by enabling quicker access to clinical trials, which is crucial for those with urgent medical needs. The service is also expected to have a significant impact on the healthcare industry by accelerating recruitment and reducing dropout rates during clinical trials, ensuring higher confidence in patient-trial compatibility from the outset.

Working closely with partners across the brain cancer charity network, RareCan ensures that patients are offered the most appropriate trials, enhancing their chances of finding effective treatments. The service leverages the strengths of each partner, empowers patients to find suitable trials, and incorporates advanced genetic testing to match patients to precision medicine trials.

Chris Neal, a 38-year-old brain tumour patient, expressed his gratitude for the service: “It’s difficult to convey the sheer volume of things you have to cope with on receiving a brain tumour diagnosis – information, emotions, logistics – it can be overwhelming. RareCan’s team has been brilliant, doing the leg work in assessing the clinical trial options and providing me and my oncologist with the right information really quickly.”

Dr Helen Bulbeck, director of policy and services at brainstrust, highlighted the challenges faced by patients: “Looking for a clinical trial is like looking for a needle in a haystack. The RareCan service simplifies this process, giving patients and clinicians a much-needed lifeline.”

Piers Kotting, CEO of RareCan, celebrated the recognition: “The Patient Partnership Index awards feature some of the big names in global life sciences, so we are thrilled that a partnership led by a UK start-up has been recognised with a Gold Award. There’s been plenty of talk with the election looming of the importance of both the startup sector and inward investment from the global pharmaceutical industry, and this partnership demonstrates both.”

RareCan’s groundbreaking service stands as a beacon of hope and innovation in the fight against brain cancer, promising a brighter future for patients and the healthcare industry alike.

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