Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) will use Foundation Medicine’s genomic profiling and molecular information solutions to identify predictive biomarkers in patients enrolled in clinical trials assessing the pharma giant’s cancer immunotherapies, the companies said today.
The value of the collaboration was not disclosed.
Predictive biomarkers to be identified include tumor mutational burden (TMB) and microsatellite instability (MSI). Foundation Medicine says those biomarkers can be measured without the need for whole-exome sequencing through the advanced and proprietary algorithms of its FoundationOne® assay.
FoundationOne is a validated comprehensive genomic profile designed to work by interrogating the entire coding sequence of 315 cancer-related genes, plus select introns from 28 genes often rearranged or altered in solid tumor cancers.
According to Foundation Medicine, FoundationOne identifies all classes of genomic alterations, including base pair substitutions, insertions and deletions, copy number alterations, and select gene rearrangements of clinically relevant alterations. FoundationOne can often expand treatment options by identifying genomic alterations associated with targeted therapies, quantifying clinical markers associated with immunotherapy response, and identifying relevant clinical trials.
“Our collaboration with BMS highlights the potential value of our molecular information platform to the biopharma industry for its ability to inform, to reduce risk, and to accelerate clinical development in this high-growth and highly competitive oncology field,” Melanie Nallicheri, Foundation Medicine’s chief business officer and head, biopharma, said in a statement.
BMS’ cancer immunotherapy portfolio is anchored by two marketed blockbuster treatments: Opdivo® (nivolumab), which generated $3.774 billion in product revenue last year, and Yervoy® (ipilimumab), which racked up $1.053 billion. The company says its immuno-oncology clinical development program is studying broad patient populations across more than 35 types of cancers with 13 clinical-stage molecules designed to target different immune system pathways.
“We believe this collaboration with Foundation Medicine will help us better understand the relation of genomic approaches to immunotherapy efficacy across a number of different tumor types and immunotherapy agents,” added Fouad Namouni, M.D., BMS’ head of development, oncology.
BMS’ collaboration with Foundation Medicine is the pharma’s second cancer collaboration announced this week. On Tuesday, BMS joined the Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy and the Cancer Research Institute in launching a clinical research partnership designed to speed up discovery and development of new immuno-oncology treatments. The value of the multiyear partnership was not disclosed.