Biodesix provided updates and data related to the company’s on-market and in-development liquid biopsy tests at the 2017 qPCR & Digital PCR Congress in London, UK this week. The Congress brings together leading global researchers to examine the latest developments, opportunities and applications of both quantitative polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and digital PCR.
According to Congress organizers, increasing numbers of real-time and quantitative PCR (qPCR) users are purchasing digital PCR due to the reduced cost, absolute quantification, improved sensitivity, precision and greater robustness. qPCR and dPCR are expected to be a $4.94 billion market by 2021.
Gary Pestano, Ph.D., Biodesix’s vice president of development and operations, served as chairperson for the Congress’ “Digital PCR: Possibilities and Opportunities” track on Monday, December 5. During this session, Dr. Pestano also provided an overview of the clinical utility and advantages of the GeneStrat®test, Biodesix’s liquid biopsy, droplet digital™ PCR (ddPCR™)-based test that identifies actionable mutations in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) to support faster, informed treatment decisions by physicians.
“The clinical benefits of digital PCR-based tests are being reflected by growing acceptance and adoption within the physician community,” said Pestano. “I was honored to chair this particular session at a very exciting time in our field. It’s inspiring to hear the updates and insights from other esteemed session presenters, and have the opportunity to share information about our ddPCR-based GeneStrat test, which provides the most sensitive and efficient method available to date for regularly monitoring low levels of known mutations.”
In addition to Dr. Pestano’s presentation, Biodesix Director of Molecular Product Development, Hestia Mellert, Ph.D., presented preliminary data from a study evaluating a blood-based assay designed to identify patients who may benefit from cancer immunotherapies. The study explored a Biodesix assay under development that was created to detect programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1). This protein has been detected in about 50 percent of all human cancers and has become a major focus of therapeutic and biomarker research. Patients with cancers expressing the PD-L1 protein are more likely to respond to certain immuno-oncology therapeutics.
The Biodesix PD-L1 assay uses multiplexed ddPCR detection of circulating mRNA. Data presented by Dr. Mellert demonstrate a strong correlation between PD-L1 levels observed with the Biodesix test and those measured by qPCR. Biodesix is continuing research to validate the test, including monitoring performance measures at three and six months post-treatment.
Biodesix® is a molecular diagnostics company advancing the development of innovative, multi-omic blood tests in oncology to enable precision medicine. Biodesix discovers, develops and commercializes multivariate protein and genomic liquid biopsy tests, including the GeneStrat® and VeriStrat® tests, that deliver results within 72 hours. The company is changing the standard of care by providing physicians with diagnostic tests and with the Biodesix Lung Reflex™ testing strategy, for better therapeutic guidance, more accurate prognosis and enhanced disease monitoring to improve patient outcomes. At the forefront of personalized medicine, Biodesix is developing new tests to identify patients who may benefit from immunotherapies. In addition to developing novel diagnostics independently, the company partners with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies to develop companion diagnostics for use with therapeutic agents.