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Foundation Medicine, Chugai Pharmaceutical Partner With National Cancer Center Japan for Study

NEW YORK – Foundation Medicine and Chugai Pharmaceutical said Thursday they have entered into an agreement with the National Cancer Center Japan to use Foundation's liquid biopsy test as part of an initiative targeting advanced cancer patients.

The FoundationOne Liquid test will be used in the third stage of SCRUM-Japan, the largest cancer genomic screening consortium for late-stage cancer patients in Japan that provides screening in collaboration with hospitals in Japan and other Asian countries. The consortium aims to accelerate development of biomarker-driven precision medicine cancer therapies.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

According to the agreement, Foundation Medicine and Chugai will provide the liquid biopsy test to academic centers participating in two programs, LC-SCRUM-Asia and MONSTAR-SCREEN. LC-SCRUM-Asia is aiming to deliver precision medicine to lung cancer patients, while MONSTAR-SCREEN is investigating genomic changes across all types of advanced solid tumors.

In the first two stages, SCRUM-Japan analyzed clinical and genomic data from 10,000 patients and facilitated the approval of five therapeutic drugs and six in vitro diagnostics products.

In 2018, Foundation Medicine, a Roche subsidiary, received breakthrough device designation from the US Food and Drug Administration for an upcoming version of its liquid biopsy test, which is currently under FDA review. The companies said they are also preparing the regulatory filing for this version of the test in Japan, with the intent for SCRUM-Japan to transition from the FoundationOne Liquid test to the new version once it is approved.