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Immuno-Oncology Research, Cancer Research, Corporate, Oncology

Partnerships Catalyze Patient Access to Genomic Testing

By: Dr. Phil Febbo, SVP and Chief Medical Officer

Partnerships Catalyze Patient Access to Genomic Testing
13 January 2020

I am heartened by the momentum these partnerships create in accelerating the availability of high quality testing menus for patients and health care providers globally.

The best cancer care requires a multidisciplinary team of physicians and caregivers focusing their collective expertise on the needs of a single patient. Rapid advances in cancer diagnosis, surgery, radiation therapy, and systemic therapy requires experts in each discipline to provide their recommendations to ensure every person diagnosed with cancer has the best opportunity for cure or control. Last week, the benefit of these advancements and multidisciplinary care were underscored by reports finding that improved survival of cancer patients is accelerating.

Just as a single healthcare provider can’t address all the needs of a cancer patient, our newly announced partnership with Roche recognizes that we must all work together to conquer cancer. No single company can meet all the diagnostic needs of cancer patients globally. To ensure we unlock the power of the genome and improve patient outcomes, we must collaborate. In fact, today’s announcement with Roche, comes on the heels of four other recently established diagnostic partnerships with Qiagen, Adaptive Biotechnologies, ArcherDX and Lexent Bio. I am heartened by the momentum these partnerships create in accelerating the availability of high quality testing menus for patients and health care providers globally.

As we deepen the diagnostic content on our sequencing systems, we catalyze the genomics ecosystem. NGS testing is now playing a more significant role in patient care, and our goal is to provide clinical solutions, both Illumina-developed and partner-driven, that support the diagnosis and management of cancer and other complex diseases. Importantly, these partnerships will increase patient access to transformative genomic testing technology, accurate and timely diagnosis, and therapeutic selection and monitoring—ensuring the right treatment, reaches the right patient, at the right time.

Roche is a leader in both diagnostics and cancer therapeutics, bringing incredible capability and reach to the partnership. Having Roche develop IVD content on our clinical sequencers ensures testing opportunities for patients to meet their diverse requirements. By enabling Roche to develop IVD content for our clinical sequencers, we broaden patient access to leading edge testing. By adding CDx claims for Roche treatments on our flagship oncology test, TruSight Oncology, we improve the clinical utility of the test.

At Illumina, we are driving the cost down, and quality up, for NGS in order to accelerate its adoption as the standard of care. We have shifted focus from research-only use to developing approved in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) and clinical-grade sequencers. We are very proud of our Cystic Fibrosis 139-Variant Assay, Praxis Extended RAS Panel and VeriSeq NIPT tests, as well as our MiSeqDx and NextSeq 550Dx regulated sequencers. We continue to focus our efforts on adding to this list with TruSight Oncology, and as we announced today, the TruSight Software Suite v1.0, and the forthcoming addition of the NovaSeqDx. While these tests and sequencers will have a profound impact on health, they still represent only a beginning and the needs of a cancer patient are varied and great.

This is hopeful news for patients and health care providers, alike. I continue to be humbled by the ability to work at a place like Illumina and partner with companies like Roche, among others, to bring the medical benefits of genomics to the most people as rapidly as possible.

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