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Merck KGaA

The drug, tepotinib, will now be available to treat advanced non-small cell lung cancer patients in Japan with MET exon 15 skipping alterations.

An IASLC survey showed that molecular testing is not performed in line with expert guidelines, which means only a minority of lung cancer patients are benefitting from precision oncology.

Archer will develop and pursue regulatory approval for a companion diagnostic that will help find patients who may benefit from one of Merck's drug candidates.

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.