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BillionToOne, UCSD Partner to Assess New Liquid Biopsy Assays in Lung Cancer

NEW YORK – Molecular testing firm BillionToOne said Friday that it is collaborating with the University of California, San Diego to evaluate the company's newly launched liquid biopsy assays, Northstar Select and Northstar Response, in late-stage non-small cell lung cancer.

Northstar Select is a comprehensive pan-cancer somatic mutation profiling panel and Northstar Response is a methylation-based, tissue-agnostic treatment response monitoring assay, both of which employ the company's proprietary molecular counting technology.

"I believe BillionToOne’s technology … is of tremendous importance in the clinic for therapy selection and for response monitoring for NSCLC patients, as tissue biopsy can be difficult to obtain serially," UCSD oncologist Hatim Husain said in a statement.

Husain, who is the principal investigator of the university's NSCLC study, added that he and his colleagues expect a first readout in the next few months. Financial terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

BillionToOne added that it has completed internal validation of the assays in six cancer types overall and has made the tests available for research use by select academic partners across these indications. The firm intends to launch commercial versions of the tests for clinical use early next year.

"We believe that blood-based treatment response monitoring will revolutionize the way cancers are treated and oncology drugs are developed, and our … technology helps position us to be at the forefront of this change," BillionToOne CEO Oguzhan Atay said.