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Haystack Oncology, Alliance Foundation Trials Partner to Test MRD Technology in Lung Cancer Study

NEW YORK — Haystack Oncology said on Monday that it has struck a deal to investigate the use of its minimal residual disease (MRD) testing technology in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in collaboration with research organization Alliance Foundation Trials (AFT).

Haystack, a Johns Hopkins School of Medicine spinout that was acquired by Quest Diagnostics last year, is developing a sequencing-based technology that detects circulating tumor DNA to identify residual, recurrent, and resistant disease before clinical relapse.

Under the terms of the partnership, AFT will use Haystack's MRD technology to analyze therapeutic responses and provide molecular insights in a Phase II trial of Genentech's cancer drug Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in unresectable stage III NSCLC patients. The trial is evaluating Tecentriq with or without the anti-TIGIT therapy tiragolumab in conjunction with chemoradiotherapy.

Additional terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

"This research collaboration with AFT is a great opportunity to further explore the benefits of using highly sensitive and specific ctDNA analysis as a means to evaluate the efficacy of novel therapeutic approaches," Dan Edelstein, VP and general manager of Haystack, said in a statement.

Last month, Baltimore-based Haystack forged a similar partnership with Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey to examine its MRD technology in early-stage triple-negative breast cancer patients.