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UK Launches Public-Private iDx-Lung Consortium to Improve Early Detection of Lung Cancers

NEW YORK – A public-private research collaboration has launched in the UK with the goal of improving early detection of lung cancer using blood-based biomarkers.

The initiative, called iDx-LUNG, will be led by the University of Southampton and the University of Leeds. Other participating entities include the Lung Cancer Initiative at Johnson & Johnson, Roche, Oncimmune, BC Platforms, Inivata, and NHS England.

The project has received L10 million in funding from the UK, and is part of the government's Early Diagnosis Mission to diagnose about 75 percent of cancers at an early stage by 2028.

Approximately 15,000 participants who have attended NHS England lung health checks at mobile CT scanners in Hampshire and Yorkshire will be asked to give blood samples and nasal swabs for testing. The samples will be analyzed for changes that could indicate early cancer development.

According to the project's clinical trial page, the consortium will test various biomarkers for their utility in early detection, including autoantibodies, circulating tumor DNA, serum-based tumor markers, and nasal epithelial transcriptomes.

In a statement, Inivata said that its InVision liquid biospy platform will be used to analyze blood samples provided by individuals with inconclusive CT scan results to detect mutations of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in their plasma.

"This exciting collaborative project has the potential to transform lung cancer care in the NHS by building an optimized pathway from population-based screening to effective diagnosis," Inivata CEO Clive Morris said in a statement. "The selection of Inivata to provide the ctDNA test for the program highlights the capabilities of our InVision liquid biopsy platform. It also brings the opportunity to build further validation of our technology in early detection, alongside its current commercial application in enabling clinicians to make more informed treatment decisions for advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients."

Meanwhile, BC Platforms noted that it is providing its BC Insight discovery and research platform to the initiative for the purpose of harmonizing, managing, and analyzing the new data types alongside CT scan data.

"We are delighted to support this consortium in order to enable the early detection of lung cancer," BC Platforms CEO Tero Silvola said in a statement. "Our BC Insight platform can support a rapid and coordinated analysis of data to make informed decisions regarding patients at highest risk of developing lung cancer."

Earlier this week Oncimmune said that has inked contracts to supply its EarlyCDT Lung blood test to the NHS Lung Health Check programs in Wessex and Yorkshire as part of the overall project.