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Bayer, Foundation Medicine Partner on NGS-Based Companion Diagnostic Test Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Bayer and Foundation Medicine said today that they have entered a global collaboration to develop next-generation sequencing companion diagnostics, beginning with a test to identify patients eligible for treatment with larotrectinib (Vitrakvi), a TRK inhibitor now approved in the US for patients with NTRK fusions regardless of tumor type or location.

According to the partners, the agreement further allows for collaboration across multiple other oncology drug candidates and approved therapies developed by Bayer. It also covers Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Foundation's full test portfolio, including FoundationOne CDx, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for pan-cancer solid tumor CDx applications.

"We are excited to collaborate with Foundation Medicine to develop new companion diagnostics and provide tools to move to a more personalized treatment approach," Robert LaCaze, head of Germany-based Bayer's oncology strategic business unit, said in a statement. "The development of a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi, and our broader collaboration with Foundation Medicine, is an important step forward toward expanding access to testing and identifying the right treatment options for patients with cancer."

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.