Personal Genome Diagnostics Selected to Participate in U.S. Cancer Moonshot Effort to Jump Start Liquid Biopsy Database
-- PGDx Joins Consortium of Public, Private and Academic Innovators Developing Pilot for a Blood Profiling Atlas to Help Ensure the Validity, Utility and Accessibility of Liquid Biopsies for Cancer Research, Diagnosis and Treatment --
BALTIMORE, Oct. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx), a leading provider of advanced cancer genome testing products and services, today announced its participation in the Blood Profiling Atlas pilot of the Cancer Moonshot initiative championed by Vice President Biden and the White House. The Blood Profiling Atlas is focused on the emerging field of cancer liquid biopsies, which use cell free tumor DNA (ctDNA), circulating tumor cells or exosomes from the patient's bloodstream to non-invasively profile alterations in tumor DNA.
With a goal of jump starting the development of a high-quality open database for liquid biopsies, the Blood Profiling Atlas pilot is intended to facilitate development of frameworks and methods that increase the clinical utility of liquid biopsies and allow faster FDA approval of safe and effective blood profiling technologies for patient benefit. PGDx will share its expertise and protocols as well as non-proprietary ctDNA profiling data generated with the company's PlasmaSELECTTM platform.
PGDx will submit data from 500 samples to the Blood Profiling Atlas during this pilot phase and will also work with academic, pharmaceutical/biotechnology and molecular laboratory partners to enable their data contributions. Additionally, PGDx is offering the extensive expertise of its team of genomic, computational and diagnostic scientists to support the initiative.
"PGDx is a pioneer in cancer genomics and liquid biopsies, building upon the exceptional expertise and access to advanced technologies of our co-founders at Johns Hopkins and our growing team of talented researchers," said Doug Ward, Chief Executive Officer of Personal Genome Diagnostics. "We are honored to have the opportunity to advance this historic initiative, which has the potential to speed adoption of liquid biopsies and ultimately help optimize cancer care, by providing detailed and up-to-date DNA profiles of patients' tumors over the course of their treatment."
PGDx recently launched the PlasmaSELECTTM 64, which profiles tumors from a simple blood draw. It identifies clinically actionable and functionally important sequence mutations and structural alterations across multiple cancer types with exceptional accuracy. PGDx believes that PlasmaSELECT 64 is the most clinically actionable, pan-cancer CLIA-validated plasma assay available today. The genes in PlasmaSELECT 64 have been shown to have biological and functional relevance to aid in making treatment decisions and include 15 unique biomarkers, 11 of which are associated with active clinical trials.
John Simmons, PhD, manages translational science and diagnostics at PGDx and has been the company's liaison to the Cancer Moonshot initiative. He commented, "Liquid biopsies hold great promise to help improve cancer outcomes by providing critically important, real-time genomic information to researchers, drug developers, physicians and patients, but we need to know a great deal more before they can be routinely employed."
Dr. Simmons continued, "We wholeheartedly support Vice President Biden's goal of breaking down barriers to accomplish a decade of advances in half the time. PGDx was one of the first companies to develop and use liquid biopsies, and we were the first to market with a plasma assay used by a pharmaceutical partner to accelerate enrollment in a targeted clinical trial. We are also moving to develop our liquid biopsy assays as in vitro diagnostic tests, and to deploy the technology using our PROGENEUSTM solution that enables molecular laboratories worldwide to easily provide advanced cancer genomic testing. We view the existence of widely-accepted standards and guidelines for liquid biopsies as essential to our efforts. We believe our well-established expertise in liquid biopsies will enable PGDx to contribute significantly to the Blood Profiling Atlas, and we look forward to actively participating."
PGDx offers a complete range of cancer genome analysis tools, including exome and targeted approaches for tissue specimens, targeted approaches for plasma samples and a variety of custom tissue and plasma-based options designed to address the specific research needs of cancer researchers and drug developers. It was established in 2010 by researchers from Johns Hopkins Universitywho are pioneers in cancer genome sequencing and liquid biopsy technologies. Under the leadership of founders Drs. Luis Diaz and Victor Velculescu, the company has achieved consistent growth by successfully commercializing novel clinical and investigational products and services for researchers, drug developers, molecular testing laboratories and physicians and patients. PGDx's service offerings for researchers and testing labs are complemented by the clinical services it provides through its CLIA-certified laboratory.
About the Cancer Moonshot
During his 2016 State of the Union Address, President Obama called on Vice President Biden to lead a new, national Cancer Moonshot, focused on making a decade's worth of progress in preventing, diagnosing, and treating cancer in five years. After meeting with experts across the country and the world, Vice President Biden identified areas of focus for the Cancer Moonshot and announced a first wave of accomplishments at the Cancer Moonshot Summit at Howard University. On October 17, Vice President Biden is releasing the final report of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force, along with his own Executive Findings. He will also unveil a new set of Federal actions, private sector actions, and collaborative partnerships to further advance the goals of the Cancer Moonshot Task Force. More information on the Cancer Moonshot can be found at whitehouse.gov/ CancerMoonshot.
About Personal Genome Diagnostics
Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) advances the frontiers of cancer medicine through innovative genomic technologies for oncology researchers, drug developers, clinicians and patients. The expert team at PGDx draws on a deep understanding of cancer biology, extensive experience in cancer genomics and clinical oncology, and the company's distinctive technologies. These novel technologies precisely identify and characterize unique genomic alterations in tumors. PGDx is working toward broad patient access to its genomic approaches, through a CLIA-certified facility providing comprehensive genomic services, as well as its PROGENEUSTMtechnology transfer solution and in vitro diagnostic products to enable other molecular laboratories to easily internalize testing. For additional information, visit personalgenome.com.