Lilly, NeoGenomics Partner on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Molecular Testing Program

Lilly, NeoGenomics Partner on Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Molecular Testing Program
Credit: Science Photo Library-NCI/Getty Images

Cancer genetic testing company NeoGenomics and Eli Lilly and Company, through its Loxo Oncology unit, have entered into a sponsored partnership program that will see Lilly provide molecular testing for eligible patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The Lilly Lung Cancer Sponsored Testing Program will employ the NeoTYPE DNA and RNA Assay from NeoGenomics to provide eligible metastatic NSCLC patients with enhanced access to a targeted genomic test at no cost. The test aims to help physicians guide appropriate treatment to patients based on their molecular profile. Due to the nature of NSCLC biopsies often are not advisable due to the health of the patient, while other tissue-based tests may not have enough material to return a result. In these cases, eligible NSCLC patients will instead be offered the InVisionFirst-Lung, a liquid biopsy, also at no cost.

“Next-generation sequencing in lung cancer patients remains underutilized, particularly in the community oncology setting,” said Derek Lyle, M.D., chief medical officer, Clinical Division of NeoGenomics, in a press release, “and this collaboration has great potential to drive awareness of critical biomarker testing, while at the same time improving access to testing for patients who may be eligible for unique targeted therapies.”

Under the program, eligible patients will receive have their cancer tissue test by the NeoTYPE DNA & RNA—Lung, a comprehensive genomic profiling (CGP) test that assesses the 50 genes most relevant to the management of NSCLC. The program also provide a mobile phlebotomy service for patients to run InvisionFirst-Lung as a reflex test should a tissue biopsy be contraindicated, or if the amount of tissue available is not sufficient for a result.

NSCLC patients are eligible for the program if the patient has no known molecular biomarker; the patient has not had prior comprehensive biomarker testing; the patient has not been previously tested under the Lilly program; and the patient lives and receives treatment in the United States or a U.S. territory, excluding the state of New York.

Testing results will be delivered within 14 days for a tissue test, and within a week for patients receiving the liquid biopsy.

The program is intended to increase the rates of CGP, which the companies say have been lagging despite it being recommended in clinical guidelines. The potential benefits of a comprehensive profile versus single-gene testing are well document: roughly 50% of metastatic NSCLC patients are being tested for the five common biomarkers of NSCLS ALK, BRAF, EGFR, ROS and PD-L11, and approximately 55% of patients with NSCLC have clinically relevant mutations that can help guide precision cancer treatment.

“Despite advances in targeted therapy options, most patients with NSCLC still do not receive comprehensive tumor genomic profiling prior to initiating therapy.” said Anthony (Nino) Sireci, M.D., vice president, Clinical Biomarkers and Diagnostics Development, Loxo Oncology at Lilly. “We are excited about the potential to impact physician and patient behavior with this program with NeoGenomics, a leader in diagnostics for patients with cancer.”