Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York, and Illumina Inc, San Diego, will collaborate to utilize Illumina’s next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to develop and commercialize in vitro diagnostics (IVDs) in support of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s oncology portfolio.

The companies plan to develop a diagnostic version of the Illumina TruSight Oncology 500 assay to measure potentially predictive genomic biomarkers, including markers of tumor mutation burden (TMB). Illumina’s TruSight Oncology 500 assay is being developed to detect most of the known biomarkers for oncology therapeutics, including TMB and microsatellite instability for immunotherapies.

“Through our deep understanding of cancer biology and emerging research, we recognize the importance for physicians to know each patient’s biomarker status to help fight their cancer in a more personalized way,” says Saurabh Saha, MD, PhD, senior vice president and global head of translational medicine at Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We are excited to partner with Illumina to pursue development of diagnostics that can help predict which patients will have the potential to benefit most from our immunotherapies.”

Garret Hampton, PhD, Illumina.

Garret Hampton, PhD, Illumina.

“The identification of biomarkers for targeted therapies is emerging as a key part of a cancer patient’s journey, from treatment selection through response monitoring, and allows physicians to follow the evolution of a patient’s tumor over time,” says Garret Hampton, PhD, executive vice president of clinical genomics at Illumina. “Next-generation sequencing assays, such as a companion diagnostic version of TruSight Oncology 500, are ideally suited to the comprehensive interrogation of a patient’s cancer. With BMS’ leading position in immunotherapy development, we see tremendous promise in this partnership to codevelop next-generation sequencing-based diagnostics that can identify effective therapeutic combinations and provide global access to these targeted drugs.”

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s clinical development program includes 24 clinical-stage molecules designed to target different immune system pathways across more than 50 types of cancers. Through its translational capabilities, the company has identified a number of potentially predictive biomarkers, including lymphocyte-activation gene 3, microsatellite instability high/deficient mismatch repair, programmed death-ligand 1, and TMB.

For more information, visit Bristol-Myers Squibb and Illumina.