Sysmex, a Japanese healthcare company, and Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings (LabCorp), a Burlington, N.C.-based healthcare diagnostics company, have formed a collaboration focused on the development of blood-based molecular diagnostic tests to advance precision medicine in oncology. The collaboration combines Sysmex Inostics’ experience in the development of innovative blood-based diagnostic solutions with LabCorp's experience in precision medicine through Covance Drug Development’s involvement in oncology clinical trials and an ability to commercialize clinically-relevant diagnostic tests through LabCorp Diagnostics as such applications are developed.
The Sysmex OncoBEAM and Plasma Sequencing assays allow for molecular genetic analysis of cell-free tumor DNA from blood samples. These technologies, often referred to as liquid biopsies, provide non-invasive alternatives to biopsies under specific circumstances and are designed to determine the mutational status of a patient’s tumor. These highly-sensitive methods allow for the potential selection of appropriate therapeutic agents and, in some cases, may eliminate the need for further surgeries or biopsies. Moreover, 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.
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 biopharmaceutical companies powerful tools for developing new therapeutic options.
Sysmex Inostics will provide reagents and, when appropriate, services to enable Covance’s central laboratory to perform OncoBEAM and Plasma Sequencing testing services in its global locations to support oncology clinical trials. In addition, as clinical utility of these technologies is further characterized through ongoing clinical trials, the parties will evaluate opportunities to develop commercial applications for Sysmex’s technologies in clinical diagnostics.
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.”