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PGDx Expands Veterans Affairs Agreement to Include Liquid Biopsy Testing

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Personal Genome Diagnostics said today that it will now provide its PlasmaSelect 64 liquid biopsy test to advanced cancer patients receiving treatment at US Department of Veterans Affairs facilities.

The agreement makes PGDx the first to provide plasma-based genomic profiling to VA cancer patients, expanding on an existing contract under which patients also have access to the company's tissue-based CancerSelect 125 assay.

According to PGDx CEO Doug Ward, PlasmaSelect will also be the first blood-based test available to the VA community that can assess microsatellite instability, a biomarker associated with response to cancer immunotherapies like Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab), which was recently approved as the first cancer drug for biomarker-positive patients regardless of the location of their disease.

PlasmaSelect evaluates a targeted panel of 64 well-characterized cancer genes, using cell-free DNA extracted from plasma and prepared using proprietary methods for increasing sensitivity for low-abundance targets, including sequence mutations, amplifications, translocations, and microsatellite instability.