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In Brief This Week: Bayer, Saga Diagnostics, Inteliquet, NeoGenomics, Natera

NEW YORK – Bayer this week announced it is accepting applications for two grants, one for $50,000 and another for $25,000, through which it hopes to encourage innovation and collaboration around improving patient access to precision oncology treatments globally. With these awards, the drugmaker is aiming to ease access to genomic testing for cancer patients who may harbor rare, targetable biomarkers. Nonprofit institutions, such as patient advocacy organizations and educational groups, may apply for the grants to support new initiatives or expand existing programs for adult and pediatric cancer patients. An independent panel of experts, including representatives from the clinical and patient advocacy communities, will review the applications.

Saga Diagnostics said this week that is has received ISO 17025 accreditation for its mutation detection laboratory services from the Swedish Board for Accreditation and Conformity Assessment. Based in Lund, Sweden, Saga commercializes technologies to quantify cancer-associated genetic aberrations in tissue and liquid biopsy samples. Its platform technologies are based on digital PCR and next-generation sequencing.

Inteliquet said this week that St. Petersburg, Florida-based Comprehensive Hematology and Oncology will join Inteliquet's Cancer Center Research Consortium. The consortium currently includes 12 academic centers, community oncology practices, and integrated delivery networks that Inteliquet has selected based on the centers’ personalized approaches to cancer treatment. As a member of the consortium, Comprehensive Hematology and Oncology will have access to Inteliquet's patient-clinical trial matching technology, dubbed OncWeb, which uses artificial intelligence and anonymized patient data to identify patients eligible for clinical trials.

NeoGenomics said this week that it has completed its previously announced acquisition of Inivata as part of its plans to enter the minimal residual disease testing market. The firm will become a liquid biopsy-focused division alongside NeoGenomics' clinical, pharma, and informatics divisions. Inivata CEO Clive Morris will become president of Inivata and will report to NeoGenomics CEO Mark Mallon.

Natera said this week that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, has granted Advanced Diagnostic Laboratory Test, or ADLT, status to the company’s Signatera molecular residual disease test. The initial ADLT rate established by CMS is $3,500 for each Signatera assay used in the recurrence monitoring setting, the company said. Signatera received Medicare coverage for use in stage II-III colorectal cancer in late 2020, while finalization of a draft local coverage determination for use in immunotherapy response monitoring is anticipated for release in late 2021.

In Brief This Week is a selection of news items that may be of interest to our readers but had not previously appeared in Precision Oncology News.