Genomic Health has signed an exclusive agreement to commercialise Epic Sciences’ AR-V7 liquid biopsy test in the US.

Under the agreement, Genomic Health gets exclusive distribution rights to market and sell the new Epic Sciences liquid biopsy test in the US from next year.

The blood-based test detects the V7 variant of the androgen receptor protein (AR-V7) in the nucleus of circulating tumour cells (CTC), which assists in selecting treatment for patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC).

Genomic Health’s commercial channel will offer the test to enable physicians to order it and view results through the current physician portal, while the test will be carried out by Epic Sciences at its centralised, CLIA-certified laboratory in San Diego.

"This strategic collaboration allows us to leverage our successful commercial channel, while continuing to generate growth across our business."

Genomic Health chief business and product development officer Frederic Pla said: "This strategic collaboration allows us to leverage our successful commercial channel, while continuing to generate growth across our business.

"Epic Sciences’ industry leading CTC-based platform enables the delivery of clinically actionable information to prostate cancer patients at a critical treatment decision point.

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"Offered as part of our Oncotype IQ Genomic Intelligence Platform that collectively assesses DNA, RNA, and protein using either PCR, NGS, or image-based analysis, Epic Sciences’ AR-V7 test will complement our expanding portfolio, which also includes Oncotype SEQ, our recently launched liquid biopsy mutation panel."

A recent study stated that mCRPC patients with AR-V7 positive CTCs displayed better clinical outcomes when treated with taxane chemotherapy.

The result is suggestive of the fact that patients with detectable blood levels of AR-V7 should be treated with life prolonging chemotherapy as an alternative to potentially less effective and more expensive hormonal treatment with androgen receptor signalling (ARS) drugs.

It establishes that the AR-V7 predictive test allows advanced prostate cancer patients to avoid ineffective therapies and subjected to chemotherapy at an earlier stage.