Thermo Fisher expands portfolio with new assays for liquid biopsy

Thermo Fisher Scientific expands its Oncomine portfolio with new assays for liquid biopsy and immuno-oncology to complement its comprehensive solutions for clinical research. These innovations extend Thermo Fisher’s commitment to helping researchers bring new cancer diagnostics to the clinic.

Pan-Cancer Cell-Free Total Nucleic Acid Assay Delivers Fastest Liquid Biopsy Solution

The Ion Torrent Oncomine Pan-Cancer Cell-Free Assay allows reproducible detection and analysis of tumour DNA and RNA across all major classes of somatic mutations (SNVs, indels, CNVs and fusions) from a single vial of blood with as little as 1ng of nucleic acid input within two days. Targeting more than 50 genes across multiple cancer types, including lung, colorectal, breast, pancreatic, thyroid and others, the cell-free total nucleic acid (cfTNA) assay is the broadest developed by Thermo Fisher for liquid biopsy clinical research applications.

“The new Oncomine Pan-Cancer Cell-Free Assay addresses our unmet need to sequence samples for multiple tumour entities in a single run,” says Luca Quagliata, M.D., senior director of contract R&D at University Hospital Basel, Switzerland. “We evaluated this new product and obtained solid results. We now look forward to adding the Oncomine Pan-Cancer Assay into our portfolio.”

Analysis of tumour DNA and RNA from blood has rapidly become a non-invasive alternative to sequencing tissue samples. It also holds promise as a method to accelerate targeted clinical trials, targeted therapy selection, disease monitoring and drug resistance. In addition to the new pan-cancer product, the Oncomine liquid biopsy portfolio for clinical research includes five single-indication-focused assays with the same rapid sample-to-answer workflow on a single platform.

Tumour Mutation Load Assay Joins Growing Immuno-Oncology Portfolio

Immuno-oncology clinical research has shown that the level of mutational burden is directly linked to therapeutic response in immunotherapies. The Ion Torrent Oncomine Tumor Mutation Load Assay is based on a carefully selected set of 409 genes that can be sequenced using as little as 20 nanograms of formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded (FFPE) DNA.

The assay is designed to improve potential selection strategies for immune therapy clinical trials. It follows the introduction earlier this year of Ion AmpliSeq Immune Repertoire Assay Plus, TCR beta, which helps identify population subsets predisposed to immune-mediated adverse events, and the Oncomine Immune Response Research Assay, which characterizes gene expression in tumour microenvironment for immune response pathways. Together these comprise a complete suite of solutions for immuno-oncology clinical research.

Each of the new assays integrate with Ion Torrent sample preparation, targeted sequencing and downstream bioinformatics and reporting tools. The entire solution is the industry’s most-complete, end-to-end workflow based on a single platform. Using in combination with the newly launched Ion GeneStudio S5 Series instruments, the entire offering provides clinical researchers a set of comprehensive, cost-effective and rapid sample-to-answer tools they can implement in their own lab.

“We used the Oncomine Tumour Mutation Load Assay on a retrospective colon cancer cohort, and were able to separate high and low mutation load samples with results correlating well with the microsatellite instability status of the tumors,” says professor Jose Carlos Machado, Ph.D., group coordinator for the Institute of Molecular Pathology and Immunology of the University of Porto (IPATIMUP) in Porto, Portugal. “The assay yielded rapid and robust results with its streamlined informatics. Together with other Oncomine assays, we truly have a comprehensive solution for tumour samples.”

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