New facility aims to enhance the delivery of cancer treatment

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Leading chemotherapy compounder Slade Health has established a first-of-its-kind facility in Sydney.

The company, which is part of the Icon Group, says it has created the drug stability testing and research laboratory at its Mt Kuring-gai facility with the aim of removing some of the barriers within the existing cancer care infrastructure by improving the ability to deliver the latest, most innovative treatments.

The compounding of cancer treatments is conducted under controlled sterile conditions. Most compounded doses have a limited shelf-life, sometimes just 24 hours. meaning they must be administered in this window.

This current reality provides little to no flexibility for cancer patients, particularly those in regional areas who are regularly required to travel large distances to access treatment in metropolitan areas.

“The reality for cancer patients is that they aren’t always well enough to travel and receive treatment on a specific day. This means individual’s treatments aren’t always able to be used, which is a huge cost burden for hospitals and means both patients and clinicians can be left waiting for the next available batch,” said Dr Larissa Gomes dos Reis, a senior scientist at Slade Health .

“An improved shelf-life of up to 90 days enables patients to be treated closer to home, supports the practical usage of innovative treatments without wastage, and provides more flexible options for clinicians when prescribing the best course of treatment.”

Slade Health said complex and emerging platforms, including mRNA technologies, vaccines, gene and cell therapies are transforming how the treatment is delivered.

"This trend for very targeted therapies requires new systems to be put in place to compound these molecules and deliver them in a timely way that supports the patient to remain in or closer to their community," it said, adding, "The laboratory brings the capability of generating the robust scientific data required to demonstrate that treatments compounded by Slade Health are stable and safe to use for longer than 24 hours."

Slade Health CEO and Icon executive director David Slade added, “Our commitment at Slade Health has always been for the patient to be the centre of every decision we make. The new Stability Lab provides a unique service offering that is a critical step forward in underpinning the best cancer care possible. With Slade Health’s extensive manufacturing capacity and now the ability to generate robust scientific data to support extended shelf-life, Australian cancer patients and clinicians can safely access the latest treatments regardless of where they live.”