Roche, Foundation Medicine start global launch of cancer genomic profiling kit for labs worldwide

Comprehensive genomic profiling, or CGP, has the potential to help millions of people around the world by analyzing DNA samples to spot hundreds of genetic variants currently linked to cancer well before symptoms arise. Unfortunately, most CGP panels can be conducted only within a handful of laboratories overseen by the companies that make the sequencing tests.

In a move that would help unlock that potential on a broader scale, Roche and its Foundation Medicine subsidiary are launching a CGP assay, which marks their first joint offering since Roche bought out the sequencing company in 2018.

Their Avenio Tumor Tissue CGP kit will initially be launched for research use only and to laboratories in Europe, Asia and the Americas. The kit uses Foundation's sequencing technologies and the FoundationOne genomic analysis platform to examine 324 cancer-related genes.

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Labs will be able to run up to 24 samples with each of the kits. This and other Avenio tests are designed to run on Illumina’s NextSeq systems.

In early 2020, Roche struck a 15-year partnership with Illumina through which Roche will develop and commercialize its cancer test kits and help Illumina pursue regulatory approvals for its own pancancer diagnostics.

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Roche and Foundation Medicines have said that future versions of the Avenio kit may be indicated for more than just research purposes, offering clinicians new tools to diagnose and treat cancer.

“To treat cancer effectively, we must understand what drives it at a molecular level. CGP helps inform decisions about available treatment options, including targeted therapies, immunotherapies, tumor-agnostic treatments and clinical trial participation, based on the unique genomic profile of a patient’s tumor,” said Thomas Schinecker, CEO of Roche Diagnostics.