Guardant, MD Anderson ink multiyear liquid biopsy deal

Guardant Health and MD Anderson will work on studies designed to show how liquid biopsy can improve outcomes for different types and stages of cancer.

Guardant Health and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have struck a multiyear deal to push comprehensive liquid biopsy into the standard of care in cancer treatment.

The commercial, research and development agreement will see Guardant helping MD Anderson build multiple liquid biopsy centers on site, according to a statement. The company launched its Guardant360 test in 2014 and says it is the most validated and sensitive liquid biopsy on the market.

Liquid biopsy has been building steam over the past couple of years as a potential noninvasive alternative to traditional, invasive biopsy. Because tumor cells “shed” DNA, which then circulates in the blood, liquid biopsy may be able to identify specific tumor mutations and guide treatment.

"This unique partnership will greatly contribute to bringing liquid biopsies to the forefront of cancer care. We have already seen in the medical literature the impact this technology can have on patients, and we anticipate this agreement will drive broader access for our patients in the future," said Dr. Stanley Hamilton, a professor of pathology and division head of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at MD Anderson, in the statement.

Using Guardant’s Digital Sequencing technology, the pair will develop novel noninvasive assays that could be used to determine the presence of cancer with a blood draw, according to the statement.

They will jointly fund interventional clinical utility studies that aim to show how comprehensive liquid biopsy can improve outcomes for a range of types and stages of cancer. And they’ll also work on studies designed to support the addition of liquid biopsy into national guidelines and their adoption as a standard of care.

"While we have seen unprecedented uptake of Guardant360 since its launch as the world's first comprehensive liquid biopsy, we realize we are only scratching the surface of its potential impact on oncology," said Guardant CEO Helmy Eltoukhy. "This partnership is an important milestone toward achieving our goal of conquering cancer with data. We knew we had to reduce the barrier to accessing somatic genomic information to drive exponential increases in cancer knowledge."

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