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Euformatics, ViennaLab, Oncompass Win European Liquid Biopsy Development Contract

NEW YORK – Finnish NGS data firm Euformatics and partners ViennaLab Diagnostics and Oncompass Medicine have been awarded a Phase 1 contract by a group of leading European hospitals to research and develop an economically sustainable liquid biopsy platform for molecular profiling in cancer patients, Euformatics said on Monday.

The EU-funded five-year contract is being issued under the OncNGS pre-commercial procurement project, in which eight medical centers in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain are acting as collective buyers. The effort aims to fill an unmet need for "minimally invasive, scalable, and cost-efficient solutions in Europe for screening and diagnosing cancer," the partners said in a statement.

The group's project is one of four collectively funded by the OncNGS program's €7 million. The other three contractors are Belgian university KU Leuven, Agilent Technologies Belgium, and OncoDNA.

Euformatics, ViennaLab, and Oncompass decided to work together to combine their respective existing NGS technology, IP, and expertise in variant interpretation and NGS data quality control.

"Diagnosing cancer accurately using NGS data from a liquid biopsy sample is not a trivial task. Offering an end-to-end solution from library preparation until therapy selection is even harder," Euformatics CEO Tommi Kaasalainen said in a statement.

Phase 1 of the effort begins this month, with the first delivery milestone due in the second quarter of this year. The procurement consortium will then evaluate the achievements of the four contracted suppliers and invite those who are successful to submit an offer for Phase 2, which involves further prototype development and validation.