EKF Diagnostics subsidiary, Selah Genomics, has announced the launch of its next generation sequencing (NGS) technology PrecisionPath™ in partnership with Greenville Health Systems (GHS), one of the leading community-based cancer institutes in the US. For the first time patients will have wider access to affordable advanced NGS testing that can help doctors determine the most effective cancer treatments based on an individual’s genetic profile. This new NGS panel molecular test is an important step towards readily accessible and affordable personalized medicine in cancer.
The launch of PrecisionPath™ Colon follows a successful one year trial with GHS, and will be the first commercial NGS panel molecular test for invasive colon cancer priced under US$1,000 with a target turnaround time of less than 7 days per reportable result.
PrecisionPath™ can be used by oncologists to identify the specific growth drivers for colon cancer in an individual based on their genetic make-up and to, ultimately, ensure the most effective therapy is used at all times during treatment. By identifying the cancer’s specific susceptibility to available treatments, PrecisionPath™ will help oncologists select the most effective options for a patient based on the patient’s tumor type.
The advantage of the PrecisionPath™ Colon test panel is that it focusses on a key number of actionable biomarkers which provide maximum clinical utility at a more affordable cost. Oncologists in community hospitals, who treat the majority of cancer patients, can simply collect appropriate tumor samples and ship them to Selah for analysis. Selah will then extract the DNA from the patient’s tumor tissue before molecularly profiling it at GHS’s Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR) using leading-edge Ion Torrent NGS.
Following sequencing, the PrecisionPath™ panel provides a clear and concise report that differentiates between those genes with proven clinical utility and others under clinical trial investigation. This report is then made available to the cancer patient’s oncologist via Selah’s secure web portal. As the body of evidence for clinical utility grows, reports will be updated accordingly, providing doctors with a means to routinely integrate genomic analysis into the everyday care of cancer patients.
Initially PrecisionPath™ Colon will be available across GHS’s oncology treatment centers. EKF will then expand the service throughout the US targeting oncologists and pathologists treating patients with invasive colorectal cancer. EKF intends to offer PrecisionPath™ in additional indications, including lung cancer, breast cancer and melanoma beginning in late 2015.
Julian Baines, CEO of EKF, commented:
The launch of PrecisionPath™ Colon, at a price under $1,000 coupled with a 7 day turnaround time, demonstrates EKF’s commitment to providing affordable access to world-class diagnostic testing to oncologists treating patients across the US. It remains our goal to secure reimbursement from public and private payers for PrecisionPath™ and we believe our case is strengthened by our focus on invasive colon cancer and the clear guidelines that support clinical utility in this area
Jeffrey Edenfield, MD, Medical director of GHS’ Institute for Translational Oncology Research (ITOR), added:
We are excited by the opportunity to actively work with Selah to help standardize the availability of molecular medicine. Not everyone has a major academic cancer institute in their back yard, but everyone deserves access to a precise diagnosis and targeted treatment options
EKF and GHS’ commercialization partnership strengthens an already successful relationship, which began in March 2012 with the formation of Selah’s Clinical Genomics Centre at GHS. PrecisionPath™ has been developed in close association with some of the US’s leading cancer specialists from the initial piloting program at the GHS Institute for Translational Oncology Research (GHS ITOR) in May 2013 until its commercial launch in May 2015. This partnership exists alongside the 18 month collaboration announced on 2 March 2015 which is part funded by Becton Dickinson and Company and brings together Selah’s NGS technology and DecisionQ artificial intelligence-based decision support algorithms.
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