Thermo and partners to develop an NGS oncology test

Thermo Fisher Scientific signs development agreement for Next-Generation Sequencing-based companion diagnostic


Thermo Fisher Scientific partners with Novartis and Pfizer for the test

Thermo Fisher Scientific has entered into a long-term agreement with Novartis and Pfizer to develop and commercialize a multi-marker, universal next-generation sequencing (NGS) oncology test. The test will serve as a companion diagnostic (CDx) for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) across multiple drug development programs.

With many pharmaceutical companies moving toward targeted therapies instead of "one-size-fits-all" drugs, a practical method for matching cancer patients with specific drug candidates is needed to enable the evolution to precision medicine. NGS enables testing of multiple genes simultaneously from a single sample to help identify their unique genetic profile. This information can then be used to guide the appropriate therapy choice among multiple drug candidates.

The streamlined and personalized methodology defined in the development agreement between the companies has the potential to improve safety, effectiveness and health outcome of patients via targeted risk stratification and tailored treatment approaches. The collaboration, focused on a universal testing approach, could also accelerate the development and registration of several new NSCLC drugs and drug indications, with the ultimate goal of providing patients greater access to more targeted treatments and appropriate clinical trials as quickly as possible.

"We look forward to this collaboration and the future potential of this technology to further enhance the ability to connect patients to the right clinical trials and treatments for them, even those patients with less common tumor mutation types," said Dr Alessandro Riva, global head oncology development and medical affairs, Novartis Oncology. "It is our hope that we will be able to take advantage of this new technology as part of our growing lung cancer portfolio to offer even better outcomes for patients."

"We believe that this collaboration will help us get closer to our goal of ensuring that cancer patients are able to benefit from a targeted therapy associated with their tumor's genetic profile," said Dr Hakan Sakul, executive director and head of diagnostics, worldwide R&D, Pfizer. "The Thermo Fisher Scientific NGS panel is aligned with a number of our clinical development programs, providing us with an opportunity to accelerate the development for each of these potential new therapies for NSCLC patients with targetable genetic alterations."


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