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Veracyte, Loxo Oncology Partner on Drug Development Research

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Veracyte and Loxo Oncology said today that they have forged a research partnership to help develop targeted cancer drugs.

Under the terms of the agreement Veracyte will use its RNA sequencing-based assay, Afirma Xpression Atlas, to assess TRK fusions and RET alterations in thyroid cancers.

The Afirma Xpression Atlas uses transcriptome sequencing to analyze gene expression, 761 variants, and 130 fusions in more than 500 genes. The assay is an extension of a previous version Veracyte developed also based on transcriptome sequencing to help determine whether a patient is at high risk of having thyroid cancer.

"We are committed to developing therapies for patients whose cancers are driven by specific genetic alterations," Jacob Van Naarden, chief business officer of Loxo Oncology, said in a statement. "Veracyte's extensive database of genomic information related to thyroid cancer will provide useful insights as we continue to advance our pipeline."

Veracyte CEO Bonnie Anderson added that the firm's Afirma assay has the ability "to extract rich genomic data from thyroid samples," which could help "realize the potential of precision medicine."

Earlier this week, Loxo struck a separate deal with Illumina to develop a next-generation sequencing-based pan-cancer companion diagnostic using Illumina's TruSight Tumor 170 assay.