Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx), Baltimore, Md, and Eisai, Tokyo, have formed a partnership to develop a comprehensive solution for liquid biopsy biomarker discovery, to be used by Eisai oncology researchers at their Tsukuba research laboratory.
The goal of the collaboration is to create a kitted next-generation sequencing (NGS) product that will enable researchers and biopharma companies to conduct biomarker discovery, using noninvasive blood samples collected from patients in clinical trials.


John Simmons, PhD, PGDx.

By delivering comprehensive genomic insights from the samples, researchers may generate clinical data repositories to gain deep insights into the molecular evolution of tumors throughout a patient’s course of treatment, without the need for invasive and resource-intensive serial tissue biopsies. Using DNA isolated from patient blood samples, the automated NGS solution will detect somatic alterations across more than 500 genes in cancer- and drug-resistance-related pathways. The profiling assay will report copy number alterations, insertion/deletions, rearrangements, single-nucleotide variants, and genomic signatures, including microsatellite instability and tumor mutation burden.

A key advantage of the solution will be its ability to provide comprehensive genomic profiling data in clinical trials where tissue is not available. The solution will enable investigators to evaluate drug response dynamics and emerging mechanisms of treatment resistance.

“We are always striving to evolve and expand our liquid biopsy capabilities and believe that many innovations and insights will be discovered by interrogating blood samples using the new solution we are developing with Eisai,” says John Simmons, PhD, vice president for translational medicine at PGDx. “Our goal is to create the tools that will provide critical oncology insights that researchers and biopharma companies need to speed the process for developing new therapies for cancer patients.”

“Partnering with PGDx to develop this solution is part of our data-driven drug discovery and development initiative (5D drug discovery) to accelerate drug discovery,” says Takashi Owa, PhD, vice president, chief medicine creation and chief discovery officer in the oncology business group at Eisai. “Utilizing digital technology, our history in drug development, and PGDx’s liquid biopsy expertise, we expect this new solution will help address the complexities of developing new oncology drugs.”

During development of the new liquid biopsy biomarker discovery solution, PGDx and Eisai will provide opportunities for researchers around the globe to join the collaboration. It is a shared goal and vision of the two companies that the solution will be utilized in clinical trials, as well as become a future standard option in clinical practice.

For more information, visit Personal Genome Diagnostics and Eisai.