DX Deals

Labcorp Teams with Oncology Research Startup to Eliminate Demographic Disparities in Cancer Treatment

Studies show that demographic differences can impact cancer care and that disadvantaged populations suffer from a lack of access to advanced precision cancer diagnostics and treatments. Evaluating and eliminating these disparities is the objective of a newly announced collaboration between Laboratory Corporation of America and Community Clinical Oncology Research Network (CCORN).

Demographic Diversity and Precision Oncology

A 2020 American Association for Cancer Research report on cancer disparities estimates that 34 percent of cancer deaths among US adults age 25 to 74 could be prevented if disparities in clinical trial participation were actively addressed.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines recommend clinical trials as a treatment option for cancer. However, less than 5 percent of patients diagnosed with cancer are enrolled in trials. Reasons for this include lack of awareness, social determinants of health and geographic and logistical obstacles. In addition to the social justice implications, ensuring diversity in trials enables the oncology researchers and providers to gain a deeper understanding of how to continue advancing personalized medicine in cancer care for all populations of patients.

The Labcorp-CCORN Collaboration

The newly announced collaboration pairs the nation’s second largest testing lab with a startup research company formed by oncologists dedicated to closing disparities in cancer burden, cancer care and precision medicine. The sides will work together to create a patient registry called PREFER—for Prospective rEgistry oF advanced stage cancer—that will enroll up to 2,500 advanced solid cancer patients across the US. The registry will include patient data from Labcorp’s advanced diagnostic testing and genomic data from its OmniSeq Insight tissue-based genomic and immune-profiling test to help identify the prevalence of actionable biomarkers and driver mutations that are unique to different ethnicities. Data from the registry will inform research into patients’ actionable biomarkers and driver mutations that may be unique to their ethnicities.

Labcorp and CCORN will also create a biobank enabling the broader oncology community to access real-world evidence and identify the source of disparities. Information from the biobank and PREFER patient registry will then be available for use in improving the design of oncology clinical trials, assisting in patient recruitment efforts, and helping encourage the expansion of genomic profiling testing in diverse populations.

“Diverse populations already suffer from a lack of access to adequate cancer diagnosis and treatment,” noted Dr. Kashyap Patel, founder and Chairman of CCORN. “Drug development processes have been relatively unsuccessful in reflecting demographic diversity in clinical trials, which further contributes to disparities in care and outcomes for those groups. It’s imperative that we determine how and why disparities occur, and this collaboration with Labcorp will be a major step in this regard.”

Here’s a summary of key strategic diagnostic deals announced in August 2021:

STRATEGIC ALLIANCES, PARTNERSHIPS & COLLABORATIONS

Partner 1 Partner(s) 2+ Deal Summary
LabCorp Community Clinical Oncology Research Network
  • Objective: Boost precision oncology diversity and reduce disparities in access to clinical trials, advanced diagnostic testing and genomic sequencing
  • Dynamic: Create PREFER (PRospective rEgistry oF advanced stage cancer) patient registry to enroll up to 2,500 US advanced solid cancer patients from sites across the US, and patient data from LabCorp’s advanced diagnostic testing and genomic data gleaned from its OmniSeq Insight
Foundation Medicine Epic Systems
  • Objective: Integrate Foundation’s testing services with Epic’s electronic medical record system
  • Dynamic: Allow physicians to electronically order Foundation’s genomic profiling test and testing services within the Epic network
  • Clinicians will also be able to receive and review results directly within their existing workflow
Amoy Diagnostics Amgen
  • Objective: Develop a companion diagnostic to identify non-small cell lung cancer patients for Amgen’s KRAS G12C inhibitor, sotorasib (Lumakras) in Japanese market
  • Dynamic: AmoyDx to develop its AmoyDx Pan Lung Cancer PCR Panel PCR-based test to screen NSCLC patients for sotorasib eligibility
Twist Bioscience SomaLogic
  • Objective: Discover novel therapeutic targets and antibodies
  • Dynamic: Twist to identify antibodies against targets coming out of SomaLogic’s SomaScan proteomics platform
Partek Agilent Technologies
  • Objective: Integrate iPartek Flow bioinformatics software with Agilent Alissa Clinical Informatics platform to provide end-to-end analysis workflow customizable for Agilent customers
  • Dynamic: Partek Flow automatically analyzes data in the background, and passes results to Agilent Alissa Interpret platform where results are combined into a report
  • Partek allows Agilent to resell Partek Flow software via Agilent Alissa portal
Tesis Labs Personal Genome Diagnostics
  • Objective: Develop new genomic tests that combine somatic and germline variant results for cancer patients
  • Dynamic: Combine Tesis’ genomic data and reporting capabilities with somatic variant outputs from tissue tests to create comprehensive platform that provides germline and somatic variants in single report
Cardinal Health Abbott
  • Objective: Broaden access to Abbott’s BinaxNow COVID-19 over-the-counter rapid antigen self-test
  • Dynamic: Leverage Cardinal Health’s distribution network to support access to test
Cardinal Health Quidel
  • Objective: Broaden access to Quidel’s QuickVue At-Home OTC COVID-19 test
  • Dynamic: Leverage Cardinal Health’s distribution network to support access to test
Sema4 Avera Health
  • Objective: Create data-driven precision medicine program for Avera’s healthcare system
  • Dynamic: Use Sema4’s Centrellis cloud-based health intelligence platform to manage, structure, analyze and integrate genomic and clinical data collected through Avera Cancer Institute
  • Method will also be applied to fields outside oncology later
Adaptive Biotechnologies Curebase
  • Objective: Expand patient participation in Adaptive’s clinical studies
  • Dynamic: Leverage Curebase’s decentralized clinical trial platform allowing investigators to conduct studies across more diverse populations for studies evaluating Adaptive’s T-Detect test
Fulgent Genetics Helio Health
  • Objective: Commercialize Helio’s liquid biopsies tests in North America
  • Dynamic: Exclusive arrangement to begin with Helio’s HelioLiver liver cancer assay
Ambry Genetics Lightbeam Health Solutions
  • Objective: Provide genetic testing data to help organizations predict patients’ increased risk for common cancers and chronic conditions
  • Dynamic: Integrate Ambry’s CARE (Comprehensive, Assessment, Risk, and Education) Program into the Lightbeam Platform
Qiagen OncXerna Therapeutics
  • Objective: Develop NGS companion diagnostic for navicixizumab, which OncXerna is developing as a treatment for ovarian cancer
  • Dynamic: Qiagen gets nonexclusive license to OncXerna’s Xerna TME (tumor microenvironment) panel, for which firms will seek in vitro diagnostic regulatory approval as an NGS companion diagnostic for navicixizumab
Qiagen OncXerna Therapeutics
  • Objective: Develop NGS companion diagnostic for navicixizumab, which OncXerna is developing as a treatment for ovarian cancer
  • Dynamic: Qiagen gets nonexclusive license to OncXerna’s Xerna TME (tumor microenvironment) panel, for which firms will seek in vitro diagnostic regulatory approval as an NGS companion diagnostic for navicixizumab
Qiagen GT Molecular
  • Objective: Provide SARS-CoV-2 wastewater detection assays on a digital PCR platform
  • Dynamic: “Complete wastewater solution” to combine Qiagen’s QIAcuity digital PCR instruments and sample preparation with GT’s molecular assays for detecting SARS-CoV-2 in wastewater
Mylab Discovery Solutions Hemex Health
  • Objective: Develop point-of-care diagnostic tests for COVID-19 and other diseases
  • Dynamic: India-based Mylab to develop assays with Hemex to provide its portable Gazelle POC testing
  • Firms to use fluorescence immunoassays and electrophoresis-based diagnostics to create tests for joint global launch in US, Europe and Asia
Fluidigm Ultivue
  • Objective: Comarket Fluidigm’s Imaging Mass Cytometry technology platform
  • Dynamic: Leverage Ultivue’s InSituPlex technology to offer comprehensive portfolio of solutions for biomarker discovery and drug development
Fluidigm ImaBiotech
  • Objective: Comarket Fluidigm’s Imaging Mass Cytometry technology platform
  • Dynamic: ImaBiotech to use Fluidigm’s Hyperion Imaging System to offer mass cytometry as one of its core technologies out of its GLP research facilities in US and Europe
AnPac Bio-Medical Science Roche Pharmaceuticals China
  • Objective: Combine respective cancer screening, diagnostic and treatment-guiding technologies into personalized product lines for Chinese market
  • Dynamic: AnPac, which has two clinical laboratories in China, to create product packages to improve personalized care test affordability in addition to personalized care
  • Roche to contribute its subsidiary Foundation Medicine’s FoundationOne CDx comprehensive genomic profiling test to offer “complete solution”
Promega Henlius Biotech
  • Develop and commercialize a microsatellite instability (MSI) companion diagnostic for an investigational cancer drug in China
  • Dynamic: Use Promega’s multiplex PCR-based technology for MSI status detection to develop test to identify patients likely to benefit from serplulimab, an anti-PD-1 monoclonal antibody developed by Henlius for MSI-high solid tumors that’s currently under review by Chinese regulators
Burning Rock Biotech Impact Therapeutics
  • Objective: Develop companion diagnostics for Impact’s anti-DNA damage repair therapies, beginning with its PARP inhibitor senaparib
  • Dynamic: Burning Rock to support global registrational trials and lead effort to secure CDx regulatory approval in multiple global regions
Lunaphore Technologies University of Bern
  • Objective: Research tumor budding in colorectal cancer
  • Dynamic: Use Lunaphore Comet immunostaining platform to study colorectal cancer tumor buds
Switch Health Anven Biosciences
  • Objective: Develop new class of artificial antibodies for use in point-of-care SARS-CoV-2 tests
  • Dynamic: Leverage novel small molecules with monoclonal antibody-like properties that Anven is developing

DISTRIBUTION, SALES & MARKETING AGREEMENTS

Product Owner Distributor Deal Summary
InBios International Chembio Diagnostics
  • Products: InBios’ SCoV-2 Ag Detect Rapid Test
  • Territory: US
Myriad Genetics Noviscend
  • Products: Myriad Genetics’ EndoPredict, myRisk, myRisk – Hereditary and Single Gene Panel, myChoiceCDx, GeneSight and Prolaris tests
  • Territory: Canada
  • Exclusive
Oxford Nanopore Technologies Avantor
  • Products: Oxford Nanopore’s MinIon nanopore sequencing devices and consumables
  • Territory: US and Europe, with Canada and other territories to be added in 2022

LICENSES

Licensor Licensee Deal Summary
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory BICO company Scienion and its subsidiary Cellenion Exclusive license to Nanodroplet Processing in One pot for Trace Samples (NanoPOTS) platform for commercial use
ERS Genomics Cellular Engineering Technologies Stem cell company gets nonexclusive access to ERS’ CRISPR-Cas9 patents to create next-generation stem cells

SUPPLY, SERVICE, TESTING & MANUFACTURING AGREEMENTS

Supplier/Servicer Client/User Deal Summary
Becton Dickinson USA Track & Field Becton Dickinson to provide rapid COVID-19 testing for USATF athletes with BD Veritor Plus system during Olympics qualifying events and trials

GOVERNMENT CONTRACTS

Contractor Govt. Agency Contract Summary
Qiagen US Department of Defense $600,000 contract to expand manufacturing capacity of enzymatic reagents and reagent kits used in COVID-19 molecular tests
Thriva UK Department of Health and Social Care Two-year £124.4 million ($172.9 million) contract with blood-testing firm to enable delivery of at-home COVID-19 antibody tests for UK population
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