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Becton Dickinson, Navigate BioPharma Collaborate on Flow Cytometry Companion Diagnostics Development

NEW YORK – Novartis subsidiary Navigate Biopharma announced on Friday that it has formed a strategic collaboration with Becton Dickinson to help develop and commercialize companion diagnostics and clinical decision-making tools using flow cytometry.

Navigate BioPharma is a specialty lab offering precision medicine solutions and bioanalytics formed in 2017 when Novartis sold the commercial lab components of its Genoptix subsidiary but retained and renamed the Genoptix biopharma business.

Through the collaboration, BD and Navigate BioPharma intend to provide end-to-end solutions for pharma and biotech companies developing tests to match patients with treatments, Navigate BioPharma said in a statement. The collaboration also aims to address a gap in the clinical trial field for an integrated solution provider for everything from method development to commercialization, the firm said.

Vipin Bhambhani, BD's VP of clinical flow solutions, noted in a statement that flow cytometry is "a powerful technique that can enable high-sensitivity, affordable testing with fast turnaround time." The collaboration between the two firms "will combine Navigate BioPharma's extensive experience in designing and validating biomarker assays for clinical trials and regulatory submissions with the broad BD portfolio of flow cytometry instruments, reagents, software, and IVD development services," which in turn could potentially accelerate the delivery of personalized therapies, he added.

The partners expect to collaborate with biopharma companies to use biomarker-based assays as clinical trial or companion diagnostic tools for cancer and other diseases.

They will also explore the development of high-sensitivity minimal residual disease monitoring assays, and provide flexible and integrated solutions that can help collaborators achieve their clinical and regulatory goals by leveraging the capabilities of flow cytometry.

Finally, they plan to expand the range of therapeutic options and biomarkers that can be analyzed to include complex target and drug combinations, rare cell populations, and cell signaling and function.