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Biodesix Gets Medicare Coverage for VeriStrat NSCLC Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biodesix has secured Medicare coverage for its VeriStrat lung cancer test, the company announced today.

Novitas Solutions, the Medicare administrative contractor for the region including Colorado, where Biodesix is based, has established coverage for VeriStrat, a proteomic test that helps physicians guide second-line therapy for patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer. As a result of the coverage decision, more than 49 million Medicare recipients will have covered access to the test, according to specific lung cancer indications outlined by Novitas.

Biodesix said that a need exists for predictive biomarker tests that can identify the most appropriate therapies for individual lung cancer patients, and that results from a recent phase III clinical trial confirmed VeriStrat's ability to predict the outcomes for the two types of therapies used in second-line treatment of advanced NSCLC, chemotherapy and the targeted drug Tarceva (erlotinib), as ProteoMonitor recently reported.

Tarceva, an EGFR inhibitor, is the drug mostly commonly used for patients with an EGFR mutation. However, only a small percentage of patients have the mutation, and VeriStrat helps clinicians differentiate those patients who would benefit from Tarceva from those better suited for single-agent chemotherapy.

"Medicare's decision to offer VeriStrat as a covered benefit will allow those patients enrolled in Medicare to benefit from better informed, personalized decision making when it comes to the treatment of their disease," Biodesix CEO David Brunel said in a statement.