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Inside Precision Medicine (IPM) sat down with Brady Davis, Chief Business Officer at Canexia Health, to get a snapshot of the strategic goals behind the recent merger and understand what this means for the company’s future growth and how this strengthened commercial capability will impact the healthcare ecosystem they serve.
IPM: Will the recent merger between Imagia and Canexia translate into a more comprehensive offering for the precision medicine community? If so, in what way?
Yes absolutely, the two companies are very complimentary. Canexia already has a very sensitive and cost effective molecule assay solution for somatic cancer patients that has proven to be very successful for hospital and/or reference labs who want to bring testing in-house. Imagia’s technology will augment Canexia’s assays’ testing sensitivity as well as automate and accelerate the integration of valuable genomic data into electronic medical records—something of a persistent challenge within health institutions today. This will enable more sophisticated and accurate clinical trial matching, and will assist research and development by bringing genomic, phenotypic, and other data together in the Imagia Evidens platform.
IPM: Do you think the merger will ultimately help increase access to genomic testing, both from a cost and geographical perspective?
The merged entity already has an international footprint, with customers in the US, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Europe, and Latin America. Our focus is to democratize and demystify cancer molecular testing world-wide, and in order to do that, you have to be very focused on keeping costs down. Many health care systems are run by governments who are constantly looking for ways to minimize costs. We will continue to look for efficiencies of scale and automate workflows to make the solution easier to deploy across regions. This will enable us to help address global issues of health disparities by democratizing access to treatment selection testing, prioritizing access to labs across the globe.
IPM: What are the fundamental challenges facing a mid-tier Hospital, is there a need for education and a shift in cultural thinking?
Most mid-tier hospitals are not aware that companies out there like ours exist to help them bring a molecular cancer assay solution in-house. There are multiple benefits that these health systems see in brining testing in-house.
1) They control the sample (shipping can degrade the sample).
2) Turnaround time—the faster you can get a patient on a targeted therapy the better, and if you can get your turn-around time to within 3 days versus 2–4 weeks by bringing testing in-house, it is a huge benefit to the patient.
3) Cost and revenue—hospitals or community cancer centers involved in value-based care can save significant money using our low cost, highly accurate solution as we are only 10–20% of the cost of our competitors.
4) Integration of discrete data into the patient’s electronic medical record—currently, with a send out model, the health system’s oncologists receive a fairly complex .pdf report guiding therapeutic options for their patients; transferring that data into the EMR requires manually loading it into a customized module, and that is very labor intensive. With our solution, we can automate the data integration process, ensuring the valuable discrete data is in the patient record.
One of the other key issues facing hospital labs and community cancer centers is health equity and equal access to cancer diagnostic testing. Our low cost, highly accurate solution enables a cost-effective solution covered under CMS and is enhanced by a concise two-page report that guides oncologists in making the best decision for the patient.
IPM: From your experience, are the labs you engage with au fait with all of the testing platforms/assays available on the market, or is it still rather confounding, and are their labs adequately optimized in terms of protocols and workflows?
Our sense is that we are still at a stage where labs want to bring testing in-house but need help understanding all the nuances of deploying high-quality solutions. Issues surrounding IT infrastructure, front end automation, validation, bioinformatics/reporting, which types of sequencing instrument to buy, or optimizing existing instruments, and even marketing and education to oncologists, are all important considerations. Most of the labs that we work with do not have a “playbook” as such. Also, the testing landscape is diverse, and with inevitably more sequencing instruments coming onto the market over the next few years, this will only add to the complexities and options of how to bring cancer testing in-house and closer to the patient. Canexia helps reduce the complexity and we have the requisite expertise to help alleviate potential pitfalls inherent in developing an in-house cancer diagnostic testing solution.
Brady Davis has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the life sciences, healthcare, and software fields. His previous roles have included vice president, market development and strategy at DNAnexus, and head of strategy and market development for Illumina focused on informatics.
For additional information: canexiahealth.com