Bayer has partnered with Roche’s molecular information company Foundation Medicine to develop and commercialise next-generation sequencing (NGS) based companion diagnostics to treat cancer. These are designed to use molecular information from an individual patient’s tumour genome in order to inform both diagnosis and treatment of disease.

The objective is to improve broad patient access to comprehensive genomic testing in line with Bayer’s commitment to precision medicine.

“We are excited to collaborate with Foundation Medicine to develop new companion diagnostics and provide tools to move to a more personalised treatment approach,” said Bayer Oncology strategic business unit head Robert LaCaze. “The development of a companion diagnostic for Vitrakvi, and our broader collaboration with Foundation Medicine, is an important step forward toward expanding access to testing and identifying the right treatment options for patients with cancer.”

Initially, efforts will be focused on developing a companion diagnostic for the pharmaceutical company’s TRK inhibitor Vitrakvi (larotrectinib), which is approved to treat patients having TRK fusion cancer across all solid tumours. The drug currently holds US regulatory approval for both adult and paediatric solid tumour patients with a neurotrophic tropomyosin receptor kinase (NTRK) gene fusion and without a known acquired resistance mutation.