mukhopadhaya: Scientist donates 1cr of royalty for ovarian cancer drug research | Kolkata News
Born in the UK and raised in Kolkata, Mukhopadhaya was part of the team that developed the PARP inhibitor, which is used in the treatment of cancers, including breast and ovarian. The 48-year-old has already donated Rs 1 crore, earned as a royalty for being a co-developer of the drug, to KolGOTrg for further research on ovarian cancer. “This drug is expensive and could cost a patient with ovarian cancer Rs 80,000 per month. But it is only effective in about 50% of patients. So we need a biomarker test to detect those 50% to 60% of patients,” said Mukhopadhaya, one of the organization’s founders. Only some benefit from the drug, as around 50% of ovarian cancer patients have a genetic defect, called BRCAness.
Mukhopadhaya now heads gynecological oncology at the National Cancer Institute, Chittaranjan and commutes between the UK and Kolkata. In the UK, it is attached to James Cook University Hospital and the University of Newcastle.
The Medical College and Hospital (MCH) and AIIMS Delhi alumnus lost her father to cancer as a child which prompted her to not only specialize in cancer care, but also to become a scientific researcher. “The state and the city need hundreds of committed clinician-scientists like her, not only to care for patients, but also to undertake advanced studies,” said Somnath Chatterjee, director of Suraksha Diagnostics Pvt Ltd.
Suraksha will partner with KolGOTrg to develop the biomarker test with the launch of the HRD (homologous recombination deficiency) test.