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ArcherDx will develop sequencing-based circulating tumor DNA assays for use in AstraZeneca's recently launched Phase III MERMAID-1 trial of durvalumab (Imfinzi).

The researchers envisage deploying a point-of-care assay based on a fluorescent nanophotonics platform.

The number of technologies to be assessed is vast, and ranges from liquid biopsies and molecular imaging to immunohistochemistry and RNA-seq.

CRUK will invest £40 million over the next five years to support the alliance, while US partners will invest $20 million to support research projects and infrastructure.

Led by investigators at the University of Trento in Italy, the team received a five-year, £5 million ($6.4 million) award recently to advance its work.

The privately held Cambridge, UK-based company announced earlier this month that it had raised an additional £11 million to support the commercialization of its platform.

The project aims to improve methods for general practitioners to diagnose cancer, lowering waiting times and reducing the burden of referrals. 

In support of the launch, researchers published a study demonstrating the test can help improve diagnosis of patients with unclear results from standard cytology methods.