Genomics is positioning itself as a key tool for cancer diagnosis and treatment

  • AseBio and Illumina have brought together legislators, clinicians, researchers and biotech companies at the Instituto de Salud Carlos III to promote personalised and precision medicine in oncology.
  • Cancer has been the main research area among AseBio members for more than 15 years, with almost 350 open lines of treatment and diagnosis.
cristobal belda
Madrid, España
Personalized medicine

The Spanish Bioindustry Association (AseBio) and one of its members, Illumina, brought together legislators and leaders from the Spanish biotechnology and oncology sector at the Carlos III Health Institute (ISCIII) on Wednesday to promote the role of genomic sequencing in the fight against cancer, from its prevention, detection and treatment to improving the living conditions of patients. 

The conference was inaugurated by Cristóbal Belda, director of the ISCIII: "All this is possible thanks to a tool that we have been promoting for years: partnership between the public and private sectors. As researchers, we know how to do good science, but for it to reach patients, the private sector must take the science we do and transform it into products with real value".

Cancer remains one of the leading causes of death and every year more than 18 million new cases of cancer are diagnosed worldwide. This figure is expected to rise to 27 million by 2040, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer. 


To ensure that the curve does not follow this estimated trend, this event offered a dialogue between public and private sector actors to define innovative approaches by means of personalised precision medicine and genomic techniques. And to do this with a common goal: To develop the best healthcare ecosystem for all cancer patients in Spain.

"The adoption of genomic technologies as part of routine care for cancer patients is spreading worldwide. We are the world leader in genomic sequencing and want to continue to highlight the role that advances in this field can offer to our healthcare systems and to the health protection of the population," said Ana de la Cruz, CEO of Illumina Spain. “Illumina supports health authorities, healthcare professionals and academics across Europe to facilitate an integration of genetic sequencing technology that guarantees to maximise the wellbeing of cancer patients. We are pleased and proud to be part of this partnership in Spain as well," added Paula Dowdy, Illumina's Senior Vice President and General Manager for EMEA.

Cancer has always been a priority area of research for AseBio's members. The biotech business is growing and so is diagnostic and treatment research. For more than 15 years, oncology has been the therapeutic area with the largest number of research projects in AseBio’s pipeline, ranging from diagnostics to treatments and prevention, with almost 350 lines of research being conducted by national companies and multinationals with subsidiaries in Spain. Some 58% of the drugs are aimed at finding a treatment for cancer and 20 companies are dedicated to diagnostics.  

"The pandemic has taught us that partnership between the public and private sectors is key to speeding up the time it takes biomedical innovations to reach patients. Today has been an opportunity to reflect, with all the system’s stakeholders, on new political and legislative initiatives and on how to maintain Spain's position as a world leader in personalised precision medicine," Ion Arocena, CEO of AseBio, concluded.


  • You can see the live stream of the journey here.
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Agathe Cortes

Head of Communication and Content


Sara Fernández Vaz

Communication and Audiovisual Content Technician

Attached files
NdP19_AseBio e Illumina posicionan a la genómica como herramienta clave para tratar el cáncer_DEF _ sept 2022_1.pdf641.65 KBDownload
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Who we are 

AseBio brings together more than 290 entities and represents the Spanish biotechnology sector as a whole. Its mission is to lead the transformation of the country, positioning science, innovation and especially biotechnology as an engine of economic growth and social welfare. Its members include companies, associations, foundations, universities, technology and research centres that carry out their activities directly or indirectly related to biotechnology in Spain.