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GE Healthcare Launches its First “Next-Generation” Sequencing Assay

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GE Healthcare recently announced that Clarient Diagnostic Services, Inc., a GE Healthcare company, will begin offering a next-generation sequencing assay focused on solid tumor targets for use in clinical trials. This assay will empower researchers to perform prospective and retrospective analysis to better understand which patients will respond to particular therapies, to help stratify patient populations for ongoing clinical trials, and to aid early research efforts.

The assay is the first next-generation sequencing assay launched by GE Healthcare since its acquisition of SeqWright, Inc., a research laboratory offering nucleic acid sequencing and other genomic services. The acquisition added complementary genomics capabilities to Clarient, providing a platform for Clarient to expand its clinical diagnostic offerings to include next generation sequencing.

“Today, pharmaceutical companies are focusing on particular key drivers of cancer to develop targeted therapies,” said Kenneth J. Bloom, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Clarient Diagnostic Services, Inc. “By providing an assay limited to the most relevant and actionable genes in drug development today, we hope to further our mission of bringing clarity to a complex disease and aiding the biopharmaceutical industry in their clinical research endeavors. Additionally, because genomic sequencing procedures are important technologies for GE Healthcare’s medical diagnostics business, availability of this assay allows us to offer a substantially wider range of services to the biopharmaceutical, diagnostic and research industries and eventually to health care providers and patients.”

This new offering will further enable GE Healthcare’s current collaborations with pharmaceutical companies focused on biomarker research. The assay will target the 26 most common oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes, selected for their implication in prevalent solid tumor indications such as lung cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer and melanoma. The assay will be performed at Clarient’s CLIA-certified facility, where reflex and adjunct testing can be performed as necessary.

GE Healthcare, through its Clarient business, currently offers a number of comprehensive clinical and research assays focused on the most common mutations in solid tumor indications as well as leukemia and lymphomas. With this offering, GE Healthcare continues to refine its strategy and focus on the most actionable genes within oncology. Today’s announcement also reinforces the Company’s commitment to cancer and reflects its current integrated portfolio and GE Healthcare’s $1B R&D investment to advance oncology solutions by 2016.

“When GE Healthcare acquired SeqWright last year, one goal was to add incremental value to our existing pharmaceutical and biotechnology partnerships throughout their drug development and companion diagnostic development efforts,” said Carrie Eglinton-Manner, CEO, Clarient. “Availability of this next-generation assay is realization of that goal. As pharmaceutical companies continue to develop large portfolios of increasingly targeted drug therapies, the need for fast, accurate and cost effective sequencing technologies and services to determine the genetic profile of patient samples becomes vital to clinical trials and the development of companion diagnostics.”

Source: Business Wire