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Sysmex Inostics, Bayer to Develop Companion Diagnostics for Cancer Therapies

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Sysmex Inostics said today that it has inked a collaboration agreement with Bayer Healthcare to develop blood-based companion diagnostics for targeted anti-cancer therapies being developed by Bayer.

Under the agreement, Sysmex Inostics, a subsidiary of Japanese in vitro diagnostics firm Sysmex, will develop blood-based diagnostic tests using its BEAMing technology, an ultra-sensitive digital PCR approach that can detect cancer cell DNA directly from blood.

The technology provides a non-invasive alternative to biopsies to obtain the mutational status of a patient's tumor — a so-called "liquid biopsy" that allows the selection of an appropriate therapeutic agent without the need of further surgeries or biopsies, and can be performed on patients where no tumor tissue is available, Sysmex Inostics said.

The companies did not disclose financial details of the agreement.

Inostics was founded in 2008 by Indivumed and Johns Hopkins University scientists, who invented the BEAMing technology. Sysmex acquired Inostics last month for an undisclosed amount.

Sysmex Inostics offers research and clinical diagnostic services based on BEAMing out of its Hamburg, Germany headquarters and its CLIA-licensed laboratory in Baltimore, Md.