NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Foundation Medicine said today that it has signed a national agreement with UnitedHealthcare, under which the insurer will cover the firm's FoundationOne genomic profiling assay for patients with metastatic stage IV non-small cell lung cancer.
The agreement, which became effective Dec. 15, "is an important step towards broader reimbursement for Foundation Medicine, and importantly, it's a significant advance for patients with metastatic NSCLC," said Foundation Medicine CEO Michael Pellini in a statement. About half of NSCLC patients have metastatic disease at the time of diagnosis, according to the company.
"We look forward to building upon our relationship with UnitedHealthcare and other national insurers as we continue to demonstrate clinical and economic evidence supporting coverage and payment for FoundationOne in additional cancer types," Pellini said.
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.
The agreement marks progress for the company towards gaining wider reimbursement for its tests. In a regulatory filing last month, the firm said it has conducted tens of thousands of tests this year that have not been reimbursed by commercial insurers or Medicare yet.