NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Exact Sciences and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center today announced an agreement to develop and commercialize blood-based screening and diagnostic tools for the early detection of lung cancer.
Under the terms of the deal, the partners will develop a lung cancer screening test to determine the need for low-dose computed tomography (LDCT). The partners said such a test could be used to screen about 11 million Americans considered to be high-risk smokers and former smokers.
Additionally, Exact Sciences and MD Anderson will develop a diagnostic test to determine the malignant status of nodules found through LDCT screening. About 4 million Americans are diagnosed annually with lung nodules, they said.
The collaboration builds on MD Anderson's research into predictive biomarkers for lung cancer and Exact Sciences' development and commercialization of the Cologuard colorectal cancer screening test, which received US Food and Drug Administration approval last summer.
"Taking on lung cancer offers an opportunity to build on the success of Cologuard," while improving the early detection of lung cancer, Exact Sciences Chairman and CEO Kevin Conroy said in a statement. "Our experience working with regulators and insurers coupled with MD Anderson's world-class research and development capabilities are an ideal match to make a meaningful difference in the war on cancer."
The project is part of MD Anderson's Mood Shots Program aimed at reducing cancer mortality through prevention, early detection, and curative treatments.