- Posted Wednesday July 22, 2020
Ashion Analytics GEMExTra test detects rare NRG1 gene fusions in patients whose cancer is driven by this genomic alteration for potential matching to a clinical trial
PHOENIX, Ariz. — July 22, 2020 — Ashion Analytics LLC today announced a partnership with Elevation Oncology, a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company, focused on the matching of patients with tumors harboring an NRG1 gene fusion identified using Ashion’s proprietary GEM ExTra® test with CRESTONE, a registration-directed Phase 2 study sponsored by Elevation Oncology.
NRG1 gene fusions are a rare genomic alteration implicated as a driver of tumorigenesis and growth across many types of solid tumors, including lung, breast, pancreatic, ovarian, and colorectal cancers. CRESTONE — or Clinical study of REsponse to Seribantumab in TumOrs with NEuregulin 1 (NRG1) fusions — provides an investigational treatment opportunity for patients with any advanced solid tumor who have not responded or are no longer responding to standard cancer treatment, and whose tumor has tested positive for an NRG1 fusion.
This partnership creates a new dynamic in the way cancer patients can be matched to precision medicine therapeutics. By first identifying a genetic driver that has an available targeted therapy option, in this case an NRG1 fusion and the investigational therapy seribantumab, the diagnostic technology, data insights, and network reach at Ashion Analytics can be leveraged to efficiently identify and directly match eligible patients to the CRESTONE trial using test results that are already available today, while also maximizing the value of every additional test.
“The comprehensive nature of the GEM ExTra test means that its value grows directly with each new genomic driver that is identified and each new precision therapy under development,” said Laurie Goodman, Ph.D., Ashion Analytics Director of Business Development and Medical Affairs. “Partnerships like this enable us to continuously facilitate the ability for our patients to receive the most up-to-date information about the emerging treatment opportunities available to them today.”
Ashion Analytics recently announced that Medicare has approved coverage of its proprietary cancer profiling test, GEM ExTra®, one of the nation’s most comprehensive genomic cancer analysis tests. Medicare coverage enables potentially 44 million more patients to afford this test, which aims to match patients with best available treatments for their disease.
GEM ExTra detects tumor-specific mutations in both DNA and RNA, allowing physicians to make the best-available treatment recommendations for patients with advanced solid tumors. An Ashion study poster presented at the 2020 annual meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology (ASCO) details the importance of using RNA as part of the analysis to give cancer physicians the best possible options for treating their patients: Employing RNA Sequencing to Enhance Treatment Options for Cancer Patients.
This leading-edge test provides treating physicians with vital interpreted information needed to understand changes to a patient’s genomic profile. It outlines a therapeutic treatment plan best suited for each patient. Conditions that may benefit from this approach include treatment of refractory, rare or aggressive cancers.
“We are partnering with Ashion Analytics because we recognize the sensitivity and continuing potential of their GEM ExTra cancer profiling test,” said Shawn Leland, PharmD, RPh, Founder and Chief Business Officer of Elevation Oncology. “Elevation Oncology is committed to expanding the benefit of precision medicine to all patients with cancer by developing therapies that make results from tests like GEM ExTra clinically actionable, no matter how rare the finding. Close collaboration between diagnostic and therapeutic developers is critical to re-thinking our approach to clinical trial enrollment as an industry and finding more efficient ways to bring the right treatment opportunities to the patients that need them.”
For more information about seribantumab and the CRESTONE study, please visit www.NRG1fusion.com.
Ashion Analytics is a clinical laboratory of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope. TGen is a pioneer in the use of genomics to identify treatment options for cancer patients.
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About Ashion Analytics LLC
Ashion Analytics LLC is a CLIA-certified and CAP-accredited clinical laboratory that uses advanced genomic technologies to offer a wide range of testing capabilities to assist physicians, health systems, research and commercial partners to provide precision cancer treatments. Ashion was developed and launched by the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen), an affiliate of City of Hope. TGen is a pioneer in the use of genomics to identify treatment options for cancer patients.
About GEM ExTra
To achieve complete analytic coverage of the human genome, Ashion uses a proprietary test called GEM ExTra, which covers all protein coding regions of DNA (known as the exome), and an analysis of all RNA, the messengers of DNA (known as the transcriptome). GEM stands for Genomic Enabled Medicine, and ExTra stands for Exome and Transcriptome. Ashion’s GEM ExTra sequences both the individual patient’s normal genome and the patient’s cancer genome. Then the two sets of genomic data are compared to find gene changes, known as mutations, that are specific to the tumor and that may be potentially driving the patient’s cancer.
About TGen, an affiliate of City of Hope
Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life-changing results. TGen is affiliated with City of Hope, a world-renowned independent research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases: www.cityofhope.org. This precision medicine affiliation enables both institutes to complement each other in research and patient care, with City of Hope providing a significant clinical setting to advance scientific discoveries made by TGen. TGen is focused on helping patients with neurological disorders, cancer, diabetes and infectious diseases through cutting-edge translational research (the process of rapidly moving research toward patient benefit). TGen physicians and scientists work to unravel the genetic components of both common and complex rare diseases in adults and children. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities worldwide, TGen makes a substantial contribution to help our patients through efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org. Follow TGen on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @TGen.
Ashion Analytics Contact
Laurie Goodman, Ph.D.
Director, Business Development and Medical Affairs
Ashion Analytics LLC
TGen Media Contact:
TGen Senior Science Writer