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Gareth Carpenter
1 Sep 2021

Thermo Fisher Scientific and AstraZeneca sign NGS-based CDx co-development agreement

Companies say earlier collaboration may speed development and introduction of targeted precision medicine therapies for patients.

Thermo Fisher Scientific and AstraZeneca have signed a multi-year, global agreement to co-develop next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based companion diagnostics (CDx) to support the Anglo-Swedish pharma firm's portfolio of targeted therapies, the two companies said on Wednesday.

NGS-based companion diagnostics are increasingly used to match patients with new therapies for cancer and other diseases. More than 90% of AstraZeneca's clinical pipeline, including main areas such as oncology, cardiovascular and renal, metabolic, and respiratory disease, are targeted precision medicine therapies.

Garret Hampton, president of clinical next-generation sequencing and oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific said that as the pipeline of targeted therapies expands, the availability of diagnostic tools that can interrogate multiple biomarkers simultaneously will ensure patients can be matched with the right therapies more quickly.

"Introduction of diagnostic tools early in the process of drug development can further facilitate the success of companion diagnostic development - and that's what we're doing with AstraZeneca," he added.

Ruth March, senior vice president, precision medicine and biosamples, AstraZeneca said the collaboration offers the technology, expertise and ability to decentralize CDx tests to local healthcare providers across the company's global markets, "which will help us identify more patients around the world who may benefit from treatments and effective patient care."

Thermo Fisher currently offers the only globally distributable NGS CDx solution approved and reimbursed by government and commercial insurers in more than 15 countries, including the US, Europe, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East.

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Gareth Carpenter

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