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The results confirmed that circulating mutations can be reliably detected and changed during treatment, and showed that they could be a valuable prognostic biomarker.
The company believes that the reduction in staff and marketing costs for its testing services will reduce its annual pre-tax expenses by about $4 million.
The company is planning to work with up to 40 sites, with an initial goal of sequencing circulating cell-free DNA from 10,000 people.
The new assays — one targeting 17 genes and one targeting 77 genes — are based on the CAPP-Seq technology developed by Stanford University
The company added three genes to its panel and said it has improved its detection limits, although validation data for these new performance numbers is not yet published.
The South San Francisco, California-based company was founded by Dennis Lo to use noninvasive methods for early detection of cancer and other diseases.
The company is moving forward in working with early adopters in a limited setting of lung cancer testing, but still plans to expand its test to other cancers soon.
Representatives from industry, academia, the FDA, and insurance companies gathered for a joint FDA- and American Association for Cancer Research-sponsored workshop.
Natera said that a greater proportion of NIPTs for average-risk pregnancies are being reimbursed, while reimbursement for microdeletion testing is declining.
Under the agreement, members of the health plan will have covered access to Biocept's growing menu of circulating tumor cell and circulating tumor DNA tests.