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Merck, Burning Rock Ink Liquid Biopsy Companion Diagnostics Deal

NEW YORK – Burning Rock Biotech said Thursday that it has entered a strategic partnership with Merck to develop a companion diagnostic for the MET inhibitor tepotinib (Tepmetko) in the mainland China market, using Burning Rock's OncoCompass Target panel.

Tepotinib is an oral MET inhibitor approved for the treatment of advanced non-small cell lung cancer harboring MET gene alterations.

Burning Rock's OncoCompass Target is a blood-based next-generation sequencing assay that targets 168 clinically actionable predictive biomarkers, including MET. It is one of several fixed-panel NGS assays offered by the company for use in precision oncology.

The Guangzhou, China-based firm is also developing technology for early cancer detection and minimal residual disease detection, with its first launches planned for next year.

Financial terms of the agreement with Merck were not disclosed.