Foundation Medicine acquires liquid biopsy developer Lexent Bio

Foundation Medicine has picked up liquid biopsy company Lexent Bio in an acquisition aimed at expanding the Roche subsidiary’s multi-omics platforms in cancer diagnostics. 

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. According to Foundation, Lexent’s tech complements the company’s existing research efforts in tracking disease progression and guiding treatment decisions through genomics. 

Lexent had been developing an in vitro diagnostic for monitoring minimal residual disease linked to certain solid tumors and measuring a patient’s response to therapy. In November 2019, the San Francisco-based company inked a development deal with Illumina to build a kit capable of running on the latter’s sequencing hardware. 

Lexent’s ultimate goal was to produce a diagnostic test based on whole-genome sequencing and DNA methylation analysis that could be distributed to hospitals and cancer centers and run locally to provide real-time cancer monitoring.

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“Lexent Bio's platforms align well with our liquid biopsy research and development strategy, which ultimately aims to bring the latest research innovations into routine clinical use in metastatic disease and at potentially earlier stages of patient care,” Foundation CEO Cindy Perettie said in a statement

Foundation said it plans to further incorporate whole-genome sequencing and DNA methylation—with its links to future cancer progression—into new, tumor-agnostic assay platforms.