NeoGenomics rolls out 22 cancer profiling tests

NeoGenomics today announced the launch of a series of NeoTYPE profiling tests for 22 different categories of cancer. The tests are designed to investigate the most common genomic abnormalities reported for a particular tumor.

Cancers covered by the tests include brain, lung, breast, colorectal, cervix, thyroid and melanoma. For each type of tumor, scientists will investigate 8 to 18 driver genes. The genes will help physicians confirm a specific diagnosis and plan treatment. Scientists will investigate genetic abnormalities in the tumors by using sequencing, Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH), methylation analysis, fragment length analysis and SNP-cytogenetic array technology.

NeoGenomics' tests enter a saturated market: Companies like Corgenix Medical and Response Genetics ($RGDX) have already rolled out diagnostic tests--and attracted the attention of Big Pharma. Corgenix inked a deal with pharma giant Eli Lilly ($LLY) in May to further the company's companion diagnostic testing platform. In 2013, Response Genetics gained an FDA-cleared test for metastatic tumors and certain cancers through its acquisition of Pathwork Diagnostics. The company continues to develop diagnostics for GlaxoSmithKline's ($GSK) immunotherapy and cancer drug pipeline.

But unlike Response Genetics' test, which compares the expression of 2,000 genes, NeoGenomics' tests focus on 60 genes. The company hopes its simplified classification method will set it apart from competitors, Chief Medical Officer Maher Albitar said in a statement.

"Classifying cancers based on their morphology and site of origin is no longer adequate for the practice of evidence-based medicine," Albitar said. "Our molecular profiling testing is a reliable and concise approach to sub-classifying these tumors based on their underlying driving biology. This enables clinicians to better manage and treat their patients. Our testing is designed to find actionable molecular abnormalities without testing hundreds of genes."

- here's the release

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