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Natera, Aarhus University to Collaborate on Liquid Biopsy Study for Bladder Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Natera said today that it plans to collaborate with Aarhus University in Denmark on a research study evaluating its Signatera liquid biopsy assay to evaluate bladder cancer patients.

In the study, the researchers plan to evaluate more than 400 plasma samples that were prospectively collected from bladder cancer patients over the course of their treatment. Aarhus University will collect sequence data from the patients' tumors while Natera's proprietary bioinformatics pipeline will design custom circulating tumor DNA assays for each patient. The ctDNA assays will be run at multiple time points per patient to determine how ctDNA levels correlate with clinical outcomes. 

Natera launched Signatera last month for research use only following the publication of initial results evaluating the use of the assay in the TRACERx study. The firm plans to collaborate on a number of different research studies that evaluate Signatera in various cancer types before launching it as a clinical test. 

"We expect that this study, plus additional research efforts in other cancer types, will help us build toward clinically validating Signatera," Jimmy Lin, Natera's chief science officer, said in a statement.

Lars Dyrskjøt Andersen, a professor in the department of clinical medicine at Aarhus University, added that bladder cancer is challenging with "high recurrence and mortality rates," and the team expects that "this study will provide new insights that may help improve patient outcomes."