Clinical OMICS

MAY-JUN 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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Page 18 of 47 May/June 2017 Clinical OMICs 17 sciences solutions for Thermo Fisher Scientific. "We saw they were good not only in using new technology, they were good in training other centers. And as we look to introduce future new technology, we thought they'd be a great partner with which to work together." Through the partnership, Stevenson said Thermo Fisher will take existing Oncomine assays for solid tumors— including non–small cell lung cancer, colon cancer, and breast cancer—and put them into a format for monitor- ing via liquid biopsy. The number of genes typically being monitored is in the range of 10 to 50. Thermo Fisher Scientific and the Institute have also focused on early detection of mutations. The company is a group partner in the Blood Profil- ing Atlas in Cancer Consortium, which aims to develop an open database for liquid biopsy data. The Atlas is a pilot project of the "Cancer Moonshot" championed by former vice president Joe Biden. The growth of cancer immuno- therapy has been a key driver for the development of Centers of Excellence for Thermo which is working with two developers of cancer immunotherapies, Novartis and Pfizer. The treatments involved have not been disclosed. Stevenson said the Center of Excel- lence launched with the Institute is the first of several such partnerships envisioned worldwide. Talks have begun with prospective partners in North America, with announcements expected in coming months: "We really expect to have maybe five to 10 centers of excellence around the world." Such partnerships, the company reasons, will inform a standard for companion diagnostics product devel- opment that will help speed up oncol- ogy and immuno-oncology trials. That acceleration will entail, in part, reduc- ing the time to generate a full molec- ular diagnostic report, which now stands at about nine working days. "Through this partnership, we will work together with Thermo Fisher to find the best solutions to drastically lower this time," Dr. Tolnay said. "We aim to reduce it down to a maximum of five working days and we will help all Ion Torrent customers to reach the same of proficiency." Epic Sciences Wins $40M Financing Epic Sciences said it will use proceeds from a recently-completed $40 million Series D financing to accelerate devel- opment of its liquid biopsy cancer tests, and enhance its platform technology for identifying and characterizing rare cells, including circulating tumor cells. Epic's tests are designed to predict drug response in cancer. The com- pany plans to speed up clinical studies for oncology tests in its pipeline, and enhance its No Cell Left Behind tech- nology to include characterization of rare leukocyte cell populations, using next generation digital imaging and big data analytics. The enhancements will enable new insight into the cellular driv- ers of response or resistance to key drug classes such as immuno-oncology drugs, Epic said. "This funding will help advance our mission to provide physicians and patients with the most predictive, precise ,and personalized information to guide cancer therapy," Epic Sciences President and CEO Murali Prahalad, Ph.D., said in a statement. Hermed Capital led the financing, with participation by Altos Capital Partners, Domain Associates, Genomic Health, Pagoda Investment, Reach Tone Lim- ited, RMI Partner s, Sabby Capital and VI Ventures. Thermo Fisher Scientific partnered with University Hospital Basel due to its ability to quickly adopt new sequencing technology, and its strength in training other centers on their use. Leukemia cells toeytoey2530 / Getty Images

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