Thermo Fisher Scientific’s clinical sequencing business and AstraZeneca will co-develop next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based companion diagnostics (CDx) to support AstraZeneca’s expanding portfolio of targeted therapies. The companies will collaborate under a multiyear, global agreement.

“As the pipeline of targeted therapies expands, the availability of diagnostic tools that can interrogate multiple biomarkers simultaneously will ensure patients can be matched with the right therapies more rapidly – this is the promise of precision medicine,” says Garret Hampton, president of clinical next-generation sequencing and oncology at Thermo Fisher Scientific. “Introduction of diagnostic tools early in the process of drug development can further facilitate the success of companion diagnostic development – and that’s what we’re doing with AstraZeneca.”

NGS-based companion diagnostics are increasingly used to match patients with new therapies for cancer and other diseases. More than 90% of AstraZeneca’s clinical pipeline, across all main areas from oncology, cardiovascular, and renal to metabolic and respiratory disease, are targeted precision medicine therapies.

“Using the latest diagnostic science allows us to match the best treatment to the patient,” says Ruth March, senior vice president, precision medicine and biosamples, AstraZeneca. “This collaboration with Thermo Fisher offers the technology, expertise and ability to decentralize CDx tests to local healthcare providers across our global markets, which will help us identify more patients around the world who may benefit from treatments and effective patient care.”

Thermo Fisher currently offers a globally distributable NGS CDx solution approved and reimbursed by government and commercial insurers in more than 15 countries, including the U.S., multiple European nations, Japan, South Korea, and the Middle East, and covering more than 550 million lives globally.

To expand global access to a growing list of precision medicine therapies, in 2019 Thermo Fisher introduced the Ion Torrent Genexus System*, a fully-integrated NGS platform featuring an automated specimen-to-report workflow that economically delivers results in a single day. The company’s complete NGS workflow, powered by Ion AmpliSeq technology, includes multiple solutions for solid tumor biomarkers and liquid biopsy testing.

*Currently for Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.