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Bristol-Myers Squibb to Use Natera's Cell-Free DNA Assay in Immunotherapy Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) –Bristol-Myers Squibb plans to use Natera's circulating tumor DNA assay, Signatera, to determine whether it can successfully identify non-small cell cancer patients who might benefit from BMS's Opdivo (nivolumab) immunotherapy, Natera announced today.

Patients enrolled in the study will first undergo surgical resection of their tumor. The Signatera assay will be used to select patients with minimal residual disease to receive standard of care adjuvant therapy or adjuvant therapy plus Opdivo.

Charles Swanton, senior group leader in the Translational Cancer Therapeutics Laboratory at the Francis Crick Institute in London, will lead the study. Patient enrollment will begin in 2019 after Natera has completed the CLIA validation of Signatera.

"We are excited to use our ctDNA assay to potentially help define a new way to detect and treat early-stage lung cancer patients," Alexey Aleshin, Natera's oncology medical director, said in a statement.

Natera CEO Matt Rabinowitz added that this study could potentially serve as a framework for future partnerships with "other companies to investigate novel approaches from the metastatic setting in early-stage treatment."