February 5, 2019
Laura Joszt | AJMC
Veterans living with advanced cancer will now have access to comprehensive genomic profiling. Foundation Medicine announced that it has won a nationwide contract from the Department of Veterans Affairs National Precision Oncology Program.
The contract covers all of Foundation Medicine’s tests, including FoundationOne CDx and FoundationOne Liquid for solid tumors and FoundationOne Heme for hematological malignancies.
“Foundation Medicine is honored to be awarded a contract by the US Department of Veterans Affairs to provide comprehensive genomic profiling for Veterans with advanced cancer,” Cindy Perettie, chief executive officer at Foundation Medicine, said in a statement. “Our tests are critical to determining the genomic drivers of cancer and what makes each patient’s disease unique, to enable a personalized treatment approach. It is imperative that every advanced cancer patient has access to this information, and we are privileged to provide our tests to the people who served our country.”
CMS finalized coverage for FoundationOne CDx in March 2018. Using next-generation sequencing tests like CDx can help determine a patient’s candidacy for clinical trials when no treatments are available for their cancer mutation.
“We want cancer patients to have enhanced access and expanded coverage when it comes to innovative diagnostics that can help them in new and better ways,” CMS Administrator Seema Verma said at the time in a statement. “That is why we are establishing clear pathways to coverage, while at the same time supporting laboratories that currently furnish tests to the people we serve.”
FoundationOne Liquid is the latest from the company. The test analyzes 70 genes known to drive cancer growth to inform the use of checkpoint inhibitors and multiple targeted therapies, such as poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors. The test became commercially available in the United States in September 2018.
In April 2018, FoundationOne Liquid was granted a Breakthrough Device designation by the FDA. If it is approved, the test would be the first FDA-approved liquid biopsy test to incorporate multiple companion diagnostics and multiple biomarkers to inform the use of targeted oncology therapies. The test is an expanded version of the company’s previous liquid biopsy test, FoundationACT.
“Liquid biopsies are becoming an increasingly important option to inform personalized treatment decisions for patients with advanced cancer,” Vincent Miller, MD, chief medical officer at Foundation Medicine, said in a statement. “A critical need exists for non-invasive solutions for these patients to help guide the use of both targeted and immunotherapies.