SV Bio changes name to Lifecode, plans rollout of NGS cancer assay

Alongside the launch of a next generation sequencing-based oncology assay, Silicon Valley Biosystems (SV Bio) is also rolling out a new name to reflect its mission of providing practical genetic information to patients.

The Foster City, CA-based company now called Lifecode said it is introducing its flagship assay, the Pan Cancer Somatic Panel (PCSP), to a select group of physicians nationwide in advance of a broad launch later this spring.

The PCSP is part of Lifecode's growing portfolio of NGS-based cancer assays. Lifecode's Laboratory Developed Tests (LDTs) are developed exclusively on an NGS platform, using a combination of machine learning techniques, algorithms, and custom annotation and curation tools to accurately detect and interpret genomic alterations in patient tumor samples.

"As we move into this new era of personalized medicine in oncology, Lifecode will help to drive this transition using the most advanced tools in genome-guided medicine. Our goal is to provide accurate and actionable information for use in both near and long-term treatment decisions," said Lifecode CEO Chris Rivest in a statement. "As NGS capabilities have improved, there has been an exponential increase in the quantity of clinical and research data regarding the molecular basis of cancer."

In early 2013, SV Bio joined up with the Mayo Clinic's Center for Individualized Medicine to collaborate on whole-genome diagnostics and interpretation for cancer patients and patients with rare undiagnosed diseases. Also that year, SV Bio received CLIA certification for its clinical laboratory.

Lifecode, whose financial backers include Sequoia Capital, the Mayo Clinic and Mayo Ventures, is not alone in its foray into NGS technology for cancer. Other companies are also trying to gain a foothold in the rapidly evolving market. Adaptive Biotechnologies and Roche ($RHHBY) recently inked deals--with Sequenta and Foundation Medicine ($FMI), respectively--to expand their cancer diagnostics offerings.

Then there's HTG Molecular Diagnostics, which filed plans for a $60 million initial public offering to ramp up development for its next-generation molecular profiling technology.

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