Clinical OMICS

MAR-APR 2017

Healthcare magazine for research scientists, labs, pathologists, hospitals, cancer centers, physicians and biopharma companies providing news articles, expert interviews and videos about molecular diagnostics in precision medicine

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18 Clinical OMICs March/April 2017 www.clinicalomics.com Diagnostics Some Payers Are Open to Discussing Payment Option for Hereditary Cancer Panels It's another case where technology is moving much faster than policy—in this case, payment policy . Hereditary cancer panels are rapidly transforming cancer risk assessment by allowing healthcare consumers to become aware of the can- cers they are most likely to acquire and how to take action to prevent that from happening—but the evidence-based outcomes of these test results can't be con- firmed in the timely manner by traditional research methods payers normally rely upon to determine coverage policy . In fact, outcomes of the test results might not become evident for 30 years or more. But new research from the Center for Translational and Policy Research on Per- sonalized Medicine and the University of California, published in the February issue of the Journal of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (JNCCN), has now found a glimmer of hope . The study, based on interviews with 11 major U.S. payers, found that a minority of them are open to the possibility of finding a way to provide insurance coverage for the tests . "A minority are open to a dialogue about how these panels could be moved along," said Julia Trosman, director of the Center and lead author of the study. "It won't be an easy process, but they are open to a dialogue about how to address the barriers." The problem is a matter of timing, Trosman said . For example, a cancer screen- ing panel may be run on a 40-year-old healthy individual who may not acquire cancer until they are 70 years old. It would take 30 years or more to collect the evidence to justify payment . There isn't any way to use the traditional method to allow for this new technology to be paid for any time soon, Trosman says . The study found that some payers may one day allow for observational and pooled studies, and registry data to confirm statistical significance to justify pay- ment . Some payers also suggested that current coverage and evidence evaluation frameworks could potentially be modified to align with panel features and benefits. "Many previous studies on reimbursement for genomic technologies, including our own, were focused on barriers to coverage," Trosman says. "We are encour- aged that the present study also identified opportunities that could be pursued to mitigate barriers."—Diana Manos BD Rolls Out Early Access to Single-Cell Gene-Expression Platform The genomics arm of Becton, Dickinson and Company (BD) has introduced its BD Resolve Single-Cell Expression platform via an early access program, amid growing interest in the application of single-cell sequencing across several areas including oncology, immunology, developmental biology, and immuno-oncology. "BD has more than 30 years of expe- rience in single-cell analysis through its cell sorting and enrichment platforms— approaches that are a natural comple- ment for next-generation sequencing," said Stephen Gunstream, vice president of BD Genomics. "We have created a workflow that can enrich for viable cells of interest, improve cell-type resolution, and significantly reduce extraneous downstream costs due to unnecessary single-cell sequencing." The platform includes reagents that can analyze both the whole transcrip- tome, and targeted, or custom-designed gene-specific panels, and is designed to work with the BD FACSMelody flow cytometer for cell sorting and enrich- ment. The company said it plans a full release of BD Resolve by early fall of this year. NxGen MDx Announces Contract with Aetna for NIPT Genetic testing company NxGen MDx announced that Aetna, the country's third-largest private health insurance company, would make available the Henrik5000 / Getty Images (continued on next page) Makidotvn / Getty Images

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