Research and development (R&D) in liquid biopsy is increasingly being funded by both public and private sectors due to its promising features such as early detection of cancer tumour, new lesion characterisation and identification of cancer drug target.

Medical Device Network lists seven promising companies in liquid biopsy participating in the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress 2019 conference.

Personal Genome Diagnostics

Started as a CAP/CLIA lab, Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) is a cancer genomic company that is combining its genomic expertise with technologies to develop liquid biopsy, as well as tissue-based products for advancing next-generation sequencing (NGS) in oncology.

The company’s development pipeline includes clinical NGS kits for laboratories. It is developing two pan-cancer panels under the brand name elio™, for tumour profiling and targeted therapies.

Products include elio™ plasma resolve, an in vitro diagnostic test that obtained breakthrough therapy designation from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2018, and elio™ tissue complete, which is a 507-gene test. The company has applied CE mark to both panels.

Personal Genome Diagnostics will be at booth 414 at the ESMO Congress.

Sysmex Inostics

Focused mainly on liquid biopsy and its clinical application, Sysmex Inostics is a molecular diagnostics company formed as a result of Sysmex’s acquisition of German company Inostics in 2013.

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Sysmex Inostics launched the first-ever CE Mark in-vitro diagnostic (IVD) liquid biopsy assay available for routine patient care under its brand OncoBEAM®. The kit is meant for RAS mutation detection in colorectal cancer. The same technology can be used for managing various cancer types, including skin, colorectal, breast, and lung.

The company also offers an OncoBEAM® product for the detection of EGFR mutations, which helps in selecting the most suitable therapy in lung cancers such as non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The OncoBEAM® liquid biopsy testing technology was available earlier only in Europe, but the company introduced it in the US in 2018.

At ESMO Congress 2019, Sysmex Inostics will be at booth 250.

Thermo Fisher Scientific

Thermo Fisher Scientific is a provider of instruments, software, and services for a range of applications, including material characterisation, chemical analysis, clinical diagnosis, and biological therapeutics manufacturing. The company’s products are used in a range of industries such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, academic, environmental, and industrial research.

The company provides liquid biopsy assays using digital PCR (dPCR) and NGS technologies, which enable cancer identification, monitoring, and recurrence detection. The dPCR assays offered by Thermo Fisher Scientific include TaqMan dPCR Liquid Biopsy assays, which detect the most common cancer mutations.

Thermo Fisher’s NGS technologies include Ion Torrent Oncomine cell-free nucleic acids assays that help in the identification of somatic mutations in plasma. Combined with a complete liquid biopsy NGS workflow, these assays deliver data within two days.

Thermo Fisher Scientific will be at booth 410 at ESMO Conference.

Genomic Health

Genomic Health is a provider of genomic-based clinical laboratory services for the detection of early stage cancer. The company’s diagnostic tests address the issues of overtreatment and optimal treatment of early stage cancer. Tests are based on genomic research and predict the likelihood of cancer disease recurrence, as well as response to different types of therapy.

Genomic Health’s product portfolio includes the Oncotype DX range of diagnostic tests for breast, colon and prostate cancer. These tests analyse the biology of a patient’s tumour and provide key insights required to choose the best cancer treatment while avoiding unnecessary procedures and therapies.

Genomic Health launched Oncotype SEQ™ Liquid Select, a range of liquid biopsy tests for the detection of stage IV solid tumours, in 2016. It plans to deliver similar products through its Oncotype IQ™ Genomic Intelligence Platform. It also offers AR-V7, a nucleus detect liquid biopsy test that identifies the likeliness of a disease responding to commonly prescribed androgen receptor (AR)-targeted drugs before the patient chooses alternatives such as chemotherapy.

Genomic Health will be at booth 404 at ESMO Conference.

Leica Biosystems

A division of DHR Holding India, Leica Biosystems is a leading cancer diagnostics equipment maker offering a portfolio of products ranging from biopsy to diagnosis.

The company holds 1,500 granted and filed patents and has 460 in-house R&D experts. It offers tissues processors of multiple sizes to suit the requirements of a variety of customers.

The range of tissue processors offered by the company includes small volume, medium to large volume, semi and fully enclosed, automated vacuum, and semi-enclosed benchtop type tissue processors.

Leica Biosystems will be at booth 475 at ESMO 2019.

Menarini Silicon Biosystems

Menarini Silicon Biosystems, a subsidiary of the Menarini Group, develops technologies and products to study single cells. The company’s major brands include CELLSEARCH®, a circulating tumour cell (CTC) system, and DEPArray, a platform combining microelectronics and microfluidics to deliver viable rare cells for analysis or culture. It also launched DEPArray NxT, an image-based digital cell-sorting and isolation platform.

CELLSEARCH® is a liquid biopsy-based blood test that is designed for the detection of CTCs. It is the most extensively studied CTC technology, according to the company. CELLSEARCH® is also the first and only test to be approved by the US FDA for the detection of CTCs in metastatic breast, prostate, and colorectal cancers. It is also approved in China for monitoring metastatic breast cancer.

Research on the test assay is published in more than 650 peer-reviewed publications, while the company continues to present outcomes of research combining CELLSEARCH® and DEPArray™ technology.

At ESMO Congress, Menarini Silicon Biosystems will be at booth 311.

Guardant Health

Guardant Health, a precision oncology company based in California, US, markets two flagship liquid biopsy assay products namely Guardant360® and GuardantOMNI®, which are meant for patients whose cancer has advanced. Launched in 2014, Guardant360® was the company’s first product and became the most widely ordered commercial liquid biopsy assay by 2018.

The company claims that its first liquid biopsy assay is currently used by more than 6,000 oncologists and 50 biopharmaceutical companies, as well as all 28 National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) centres.

The Guardant360® assay includes 73 genes associated with cancer, making it comprehensive. Guardant Health entered a multi-year agreement with AstraZeneca to develop blood-based companion diagnostic (CDx) tests based on its liquid biopsy platform, which is expected to help it pursue FDA approval for the assay.

Launched in 2017, GuardantOMNI® is a 500-gene panel meant for biopharmaceutical companies for genomic profiling. It holds a breakthrough designation from the FDA for its proprietary plasma-based tumour mutational burden (TMB) score.

Guardant Health launched the research-only liquid biopsy LUNAR assay recently for early stage cancer and disease recurrence. Developed based on the data and insights from testing of more than 80,000 cancer patients with Guardant360®, the LUNAR assay is meant for biopharmaceutical and academic researchers.

Guardant Health will be at booth 249 at ESMO 2019.

The ESMO 2019 Congress is scheduled to be held between September 27th 2019 and October 1st 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. It is expected to witness participation from companies, researchers and journalists from the pharmaceutical industry and showcase the latest advancements in the oncology domain.