Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) of New Jersey has determined that the VeriStrat proteomic test from Biodesix Inc, Boulder, Colo, is a medically necessary benefit for members with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The Horizon BCBS positive coverage determination was effective as of May 10, 2016.

Based on a simple blood draw and providing test results within 72 hours, VeriStrat offers physicians predictive and prognostic information to guide treatment decisions for NSCLC. Assessing the patient’s VeriStrat status prior to making treatment decisions enables physicians to avoid ineffective therapy options and to better understand the aggressiveness of the patient’s overall disease.

“Positive coverage for VeriStrat by Horizon BCBS of New Jersey has now broadened the availability of this test to approximately 205 million people across the United States,” says Biodesix CEO David Brunel. “We are pleased to see yet another major health plan recognizing the medical necessity and clinical utility of VeriStrat for patients with NSCLC.”

VeriStrat can be ordered individually or as part of Biodesix Lung Reflex. The reflex testing strategy integrates GeneStrat and VeriStrat for real-time measurement of genomic and proteomic biomarkers. Biodesix Lung Reflex provides information about a patient’s tumor mutation status as well as the impact of the “host” or patient immune response to the tumor.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States, with an estimated 221,200 new cases and 158,040 deaths due to the disease in 2015. NSCLC accounts for about 85% of lung cancer cases in the US.

For more information, visit Horizon BCBS of New Jersey or Biodesix.