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Foundation Medicine, Horizon Health to Study Benefits of Precision Medicine in NSCLC

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Foundation Medicine announced today that it has formed a three-way collaboration with Horizon Healthcare Services and Clinical Outcomes Tracking and Analysis (COTA) to study the clinical and cost benefits of Foundation's precision medicine technology in treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

As part of the arrangement, the partners are launching a prospective clinical trial measuring changes in survival benefit and total cost savings among previously untreated NSCLC patients who are analyzed using Foundation Medicine's FoundationOne tissue-based genomic profiling assay.

Study participants will be enrolled at two centers in New Jersey and tracked by COTA. Horizon Blue Cross of New Jersey will cover the cost of the FoundationOne assays. Depending on the outcome of the study, Horizon may provide its members with coverage for the test as part of metastatic lung cancer evaluations going forward.

"We believe this study design … represents an innovative model of collaboration that will catalyze the consistent integration of comprehensive genomic profiling in clinical care for the treatment of metastatic lung cancer," Vincent Miller, chief medical officer of Foundation Medicine, said in a statement. "We fully expect the study to demonstrate the clinical and health economic benefits of a comprehensive approach versus the use of more limited testing panels and, importantly, that these results will support broad reimbursement in this patient population with advanced disease."

FoundationOne is designed to help physicians make treatment decisions by identifying molecular growth drivers in cancers and matching them with targeted therapeutic options. The test interrogates the coding sequences of 315 cancer-relevant genes and a number of introns from 28 genes that are known to be altered in solid tumors. 

Obtaining reimbursement for FoundationOne and FoundationOne Heme, which is designed for blood cancers, has been an uphill climb for Foundation Medicine. As reported by GenomeWeb, in late 2015 the firm disclosed that it delivered about 24,700 of the tests during the first nine months of the year but only collected payment for 11,300 of them due to a lack of coverage decisions from Medicare and a lack of contracts with most commercial payors.