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Interpace Diagnostics Receives Regional Coverage for Thyroid Cancer Classifier

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Interpace Diagnostics said today that Premera Blue Cross, a regional health plan, has agreed to cover its ThyraMIR test for more than 2 million members located primarily in Washington, Oregon, and Alaska.

Premera Blue Cross has a network of more than 38,000 physicians, hospitals, laboratories, and other healthcare providers across the Northwest, Interpace said.

Its ThyraMIR assay is covered for thyroid nodules deemed indeterminate by standard cytopathological analysis.

The firm recently announced coverage of ThyraMIR by UnitedHealthcare and Aetna. 

With the addition of Premera's members, ThyraMIR is now covered for more than 250 million patients nationwide through Medicare, national, and regional health plans, Interpace said.

Interpace President and CEO Jack Stover said in a statement that the new coverage for ThyraMIR by Premera Blue Cross is "further evidence of the clinical utility as well as clinical validity" of the firm's thyroid assays.

ThyraMIR, a microRNA gene expression classifier, measures the expression of 10 microRNAs. A complementary assay, ThyGenX, uses next-generation sequencing to identify more than 100 genetic alterations associated with papillary and follicular thyroid carcinomas, the two most common forms of thyroid cancer. Together, the assays combine the rule-in properties achieved through NGS of a patient's DNA and RNA with the rule-out capabilities of a microRNA classifier to provide physicians with clinically actionable test results, Interpace said.

About 90 percent of the firm's ThyGenX cases are reflexed to ThyraMir for additional assessment, the firm said.

Most physicians have traditionally recommended thyroid surgery where thyroid nodule biopsy results are neither clearly benign nor malignant after being reviewed through traditional cytopathology. However, 70 percent to 80 percent of these surgical outcomes are ultimately benign, Interpace said, adding that molecular testing using ThyGenX and ThyraMIR has been shown to reduce the rate of unnecessary surgeries in these indeterminate cases.

Interpace launched ThyraMIR two years ago for use by endocrinologists and pathologists throughout the US. About 400 physicians and hospitals worldwide have conducted more than 15,000 ThyraMIR tests, the firm said.