Personal Genome Diagnostics' new kind of cancer test is going to be used by the VA - Baltimore


Jun. 14, 2017 11:20 am

Personal Genome Diagnostics’ new kind of cancer test is going to be used by the VA

The company's liquid biopsy analyzes cancer genes from a blood test, no human tissue required.

Pipettes and test tubes.

(Photo by Flickr user Luca Volpi, used under a Creative Commons license)

Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) received a new contract from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to provide a test for cancer that does not require tissue samples.

The Canton-based company makes a liquid biopsy, which tests for cancer by evaluating 64 genes that are associated with cancer.

The test can be conducted through a blood test, rather than obtaining tissue samples through a traditional biopsy or conducting an ultrasound. The test can also be conducted multiple times during treatment, providing a “real-time livestream of what’s happening at the genetic level in the patient’s tumor or tumors,” PGDx Manager for Translational Science and Diagnostics John Simmons told last year.

The test will be offered to advanced cancer patients who are receiving treatment in the VA, according to the company.

The company’s work on liquid biopsy got attention from the White House last year, when Vice President Joe Biden included PGDx among the group of experts working on the Cancer Moonshot.

The new contract is an expansion of work with the VA for PGDx, which was founded by Johns Hopkins researchers. PGDx also has a contract to provide its product which analyzes tumors on the genetic level.

The company raised a $21.4 million Series A in 2015.

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