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Foundation Medicine, Bristol-Myers Squibb Collaborate on Tumor Profiling

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Foundation Medicine and Bristol-Myers Squibb have launched a collaboration to profile the tumor and tumor microenvironment to help predict a patient's response to cancer immunotherapy.

Using Foundation Medicine's FoundationOne genomic profiling assay, the firms will look at tumor mutational burden and microsatellite instability in patients enrolled in clinical trials for BMS cancer drugs.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

"We believe this collaboration with Foundation Medicine will help us better understand the relation of genomic approaches to immunotherapy efficacy across a number of different tumor types and immunotherapy agents," BMS head of oncology development Fouad Namouni said in a statement. "Translational medicine research is critical to further our understanding of cancer biology and to identify which patient populations are most likely to derive benefit from our immuno-oncology agents."

When Roche bought a $1.2 billion stake in Foundation Medicine as part of a 2015 collaboration deal, the firms listed genomic profiling for cancer immunotherapies as a focus of the partnership. Since then, studies from leading cancer groups such as the American Society for Clinical Oncology and the American Association for Cancer Research have suggested Foundation Medicine's tests could help guide treatment decisions.

"Biopharmaceutical companies and practicing oncologists alike may benefit from a reliable, validated, comprehensive view of mutational burden and genomic alterations to make the most informed care decisions," Foundation Medicine Chief Business Officer Melanie Nallicheri said in a statement. "Our collaboration with Bristol-Myers Squibb highlights the potential value of our molecular information platform to the biopharma industry for its ability to inform, to reduce risk, and to accelerate clinical development in this high growth and highly competitive oncology field."