Pharma Focus Asia

Veracyte Announces Precision Medicine Collaboration With Loxo Oncology

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Veracyte, Inc. announced a research collaboration through which Loxo Oncology will access Veracyte’s new Afirma® Xpression Atlas platform to advance its development of highly selective medicines for patients with genetically defined cancers, including thyroid cancer.

Through the new agreement, Veracyte will use its Afirma Xpression Atlas platform to provide Loxo Oncology with information regarding thyroid cancers with TRK fusions and RET alterations, for use in developing its targeted cancer therapies. The RNA sequencing-based Afirma Xpression Atlas is an extension of Veracyte’s Afirma Genomic Sequencing Classifier (GSC), which is widely used in thyroid cancer diagnosis. Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

“We are pleased to be collaborating with Loxo Oncology, a leader in the development of therapies that target specific gene abnormalities to treat cancer,” said Bonnie Anderson, Veracyte’s chairman and chief executive officer. “We believe this agreement underscores the value that our Afirma Xpression Atlas platform – with its ability to extract rich genomic data from thyroid samples – and our leadership in thyroid cancer diagnosis may provide in helping to realize the potential of precision medicine.”

The Afirma Xpression Atlas utilizes RNA transcriptome sequencing to measure previously undetectable genomic information that may be predictive of thyroid cancer, including gene expression, 761 DNA variants and 130 RNA fusions, in over 500 genes. With its Afirma genomic classifier, Veracyte has performed more than 100,000 genomic tests to evaluate potentially cancerous thyroid nodules and the company estimates it has helped more than 40,000 patients avoid unnecessary diagnostic surgery to date.

“We are committed to developing therapies for patients whose cancers are driven by specific genetic alterations,” said Jacob Van Naarden, chief business officer of Loxo Oncology. “Veracyte’s extensive database of genomic information related to thyroid cancer will provide useful insights as we continue to advance our pipeline.”

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