Merck KGaA

The German drugmaker plans to advance the NSCLC treatment in parallel with tissue-based and liquid biopsy companion assays that can identify best responders.

The two companies have signed a new master collaboration agreement under which HTG will  develop custom assays for use in earlier stages of Merck's drug development process.

The tests were developed as part of a partnership with Merck KGaA, one of the manufacturers of the anti-EGFR therapy Erbitux.

Guardant is providing its Guardant 360 CDx test for a clinical trial of Merck's small molecule, c-Met kinase inhibitor called tepotinib.

The agreement now includes distribution of Roche's Kapa Biosystems portfolio in all geographies except the US, Brazil, and Japan.

The companies will initially focus on developing a companion diagnostic for Merck's investigational B cell lymphoma drug M7583.