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Bayer will offer Veracyte's Afirma Xpression Atlas to identify underlying drivers in tumors of late-stage or metastatic thyroid cancer patients resistant to radioactive iodine therapy.

The partners are starting by testing patients with colorectal and thyroid cancers using the 648-gene Tempus xT assay, but could expand to other areas in the future.

The test analyzes substitutions, insertion and deletion alterations, and copy number alterations in 324 genes, along with some genomic signatures in solid tumors.

The firms are developing a kit-based CDx to detect NTRK gene fusions, including NTRK1, NTRK2 and NTRK3, for Bayer's Vitrakvi cancer treatment.

The drugmaker will cover the cost of testing for up to 500 patients in the US with MSI-high colorectal cancer or RAI-refractory differentiated thyroid cancer.

Under the deal, the companies aim to develop a companion diagnostic for Bayer's solid tumor drug larotrectinib for the Chinese market.

An IASLC survey showed that molecular testing is not performed in line with expert guidelines, which means only a minority of lung cancer patients are benefitting from precision oncology.

The companies will work together first to develop a companion diagnostic for Bayer's TRK inhibitor larotrectinib, with opportunities to expand to other drugs and drug candidates thereafter.

The effort, called FAIRplus, commenced earlier this year with a budget of €8.2 million, funded by the Innovative Medicine Initiative.

The overlapping development programs for first-generation larotrectinib and second-generation LOXO-195 signal narrowing drug development timelines in the era of precision oncology.

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