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Illumina, Lexent Partner on NGS-Based Cancer IVD Kit

NEW YORK – Liquid biopsy firm Lexent Bio on Thursday announced a non-exclusive partnership with Illumina to develop an in vitro diagnostic kit for cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Lexent will develop its Confera Dx assay, a next-generation sequencing-based kit for monitoring response to therapy or minimal residual disease in patients with certain solid tumors, to run on Illumina's NextSeq 550Dx system. Lexent will be responsible for obtaining the necessary regulatory approvals and for commercialization.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.  

"By making Lexent's Confera Dx assay system accessible to patients, we hope to ensure healthcare providers have access to a valuable part of a growing genomics ecosystem. Partnerships that bring exceptional clinical content to customers and patients represent an exciting opportunity in clinical genomics," Phil Febbo, Illumina's chief medical officer, said in a statement. "We are committed to accelerating the menu of clinical tests available on our diagnostic sequencing platforms and our work with Lexent Bio should result in expanded access to practice-changing genomic-based testing in order to improve patient outcomes."

Confera Dx is still under development and will first be launched as a laboratory-developed test performed by Lexent, with the IVD kit coming later. San Francisco-based Lexent is a spinoff of Counsyl, which itself was acquired by Myriad Genetics last year.