Treatments for patients on day one
The availability of new treatment options are key for some cancer patients who may not have time to wait for labs to validate a new test. NeoGenomics, the U.S.’s largest cancer diagnostic company, partnered up with QIAGEN and Novartis to deliver a novel treatment to breast cancer patients on day one, while setting a precedent in the future of diagnostics.
“Having this test available gives hope, not only to newly diagnosed patients but also to existing patients who have had few diagnostic and therapeutic options,” Weiss says. Since the PIK3CA mutation is generally stable, even biopsy samples dating back two or three years are often adequate for testing – opening up new avenues for treatment without the need for further sampling procedures. Under the program, drug maker Novartis is covering the cost of PIK3CA testing. Weiss thinks this speedy and efficient collaboration has set a precedent for future diagnostic tests. From initial talks between the three partners, it took just six months to validate the test and receive final approval. “When you work with the pharmaceutical company and the kit-maker early on, it makes things much easier. This model has been so successful, we hope to emulate it in the future,” he says. This can have a profound impact on how drugs and associated tests are developed and brought to market.