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Tempus, Lilly Ink Partnership to Offer No-Cost NGS for Advanced NSCLC Patients

NEW YORK – Tempus said on Thursday that it has inked a partnership with Eli Lilly focused on improving access to genomic testing among advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients.

To accomplish this access improvement, Tempus and Lilly aim to remove the cost barrier to molecular profiling and to help physicians better understand the advantages of broad-based genomic sequencing and how best to incorporate it into clinical practice. Through the program, physicians will be able to order these tests for their advanced NSCLC patients free-of-charge.

For its part of the partnership, Tempus will offer its xT broad-panel genomic sequencing assay — which is designed to detect alterations by matching tumor sequencing to normal saliva or blood — to physicians treating NSCLC patients. In cases where patients do not have available tumor tissue for sequencing, Tempus will offer its xF liquid biopsy instead. The diagnostics firm will also offer certain immunohistochemistry tests.

Lilly, for its part, will cover the cost of these tests. On a website dedicated to the new program, Lilly has clarified that participating physicians have no obligation to order any other Lilly or Tempus products or services. That said, uptake of Lilly's biomarker-directed NSCLC drugs could benefit from increased access to broad-based next-generation sequencing; the firm markets a RET inhibitor, Retevmo (selpercatinib) for RET fusion-positive NSCLC, among other targeted therapies in the pipeline.

"Genomic testing allows oncologists to more accurately select effective treatments for patients," Anthony Sireci, VP of clinical biomarker and diagnostics development at Lilly subsidiary Loxo Oncology, said in a statement. "We look forward to supporting these efforts alongside Tempus to increase accessibility to biomarker testing and potentially create better outcomes for patients."