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Guardant Health

The belief among genomics experts that one day drugs would be given based on genomic abnormalities that cut across tumor types became reality this week.

Guardant said Guardant360 is the first liquid biopsy permitted by New York's CLEP, and the approval means the test can be ordered in all 50 states. 

The coverage decision limits the test to patients with advanced lung cancers who haven't been genomically profiled and who can't receive tissue-based testing.

The money will fund a new plan to sequence tumor DNA from more than 1 million cancer patients. The firm also announced a new JV in Asia, the Middle East, and Africa. 

The Palo Alto-based firm plans to use the money to further validate its non-invasive, early cancer detection technology.

MD Anderson aims to rapidly collect clinical utility data to support decisions by relevant committees to broadly offer the test and to begin persuading payors to reimburse.

Guardant will help MD Anderson develop new assays and conduct clinical studies, and physicians will be able to order the company's test through an EMR system. 

San Francisco Ferry Building

Executives provided updates on their companies at the 35th Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference in San Francisco.

The company signed separate agreements with AstraZeneca, Merck, Merck KGaA, and Pfizer to create the panel, which is expected to help speed drug development.

The results indicate that while blood-based assays can be useful, tissue biopsies should remain the gold standard when available, said one of the study authors.

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Bioethicists disagree with a research team's decision to allow the return of risk results for adult-onset conditions from a newborn sequencing project, according to Reuters.

Alterations to particular gene may enable the Quechua of Peru to better tolerate high-altitude life, Ars Technica reports.

Nature News reports that additional South Korean researchers have included the names of children on scientific papers when they did not contribute to the work.

In PLOS this week: statistical approach to prioritize rare variant searches, gene expression alterations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and more.