The collaboration combines Sysmex Inostics’ ability to develop blood-based diagnostic tools with LabCorp's work in precision medicine following its acquisition of Covance, and Covance’s involvement in oncology clinical trials, as well as its ability to commercialize clinically-relevant diagnostic tests as such applications are developed.
Under the terms of this collaboration, Sysmex will provide reagents and, when appropriate, services to enable Covance’s central laboratory to perform OncoBEAM and Plasma Sequencing testing services to support oncology clinical trials. As clinical utility of these technologies is further characterized through ongoing trials, the parties will evaluate opportunities to develop commercial applications for Sysmex’s technologies in clinical diagnostics. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.
The Sysmex OncoBEAM and Plasma Sequencing assays are intended to allow for molecular genetic analysis of cell-free tumor DNA from blood samples. These liquid biopsies provide non-invasive alternatives to biopsies and are designed to determine the mutational status of a patient’s tumor, which can allow for the potential selection of appropriate therapeutic agents and, in some cases, eliminate the need for more surgeries or biopsies.
Hisashi Ietsugu, Chairman and CEO of Sysmex, said: “This collaboration will allow us to expand Sysmex Inostics’ testing services and products using LabCorp’s worldwide network of central laboratory locations and potentially accelerate the development of new cancer therapies. Further, as clinical evidence develops, Sysmex and LabCorp will evaluate opportunities together to commercialize precision medicine in oncology in support of improved patient outcomes.”
The OncoBEAM assays target a wide variety of clinically actionable genetic mutations in cancer and, along with sequencing-based evaluation of circulating tumor DNA through Plasma Sequencing, offer biopharma companies new tools for developing new therapeutic options. In addition, blood-based diagnostic DNA tests can be performed when no tumor tissue is available and utilized to serially monitor tumor changes in patients over time or in response to therapeutic treatment.
David King, Chairman and CEO of LabCorp, added: “Our expanded relationship with Sysmex furthers our ability to bring innovative technologies that assist in the development of new oncology treatments to patients and builds upon our core mission of improving health and improving lives.”