A “tumultuous” time in the early cancer detection market
Starting the Interview with developments in oncology detection, the expert said that competition between platforms in molecular residual disease is “clearly heating up”. The market also seems to be shaping up for therapy response, we heard, particularly regarding combination therapies in immuno-oncology.
“Caris is in that market, NeoGenomics is in that market, many others are hovering around that market, so that’s one development.” The expert also explained why the early cancer detection market has been “tumultuous”, citing Illumina’s acquisition of Grail, Thrive’s incorporation into Exact, and developments at Freenome.
How early oncology detection could fit into the diagnostic paradigm was also discussed. “What we need is evidence that a population-based early-detection programme that was pan-cancer would save lives and be cost-effective,” the specialist said. “If we intend, through a blood assay or a biological fluid assay… to really institute a pan-cancer you’re at high risk for cancer, you’re at average risk for cancer or maybe even at lower risk for cancer, that’s going to require a lot of innovation, which I just don’t see.”
Also on the agenda was Grail’s PATHFINDER study data, with our interviewee of the view that the algorithm “still needs some tweaking”. Turning to Grail’s Galleri launch, they explained why they think that “Grail has hurt itself in the serious oncology community with this launch”.
In other Interview takeaways, the expert was particularly bullish on Exact Sciences’ acquisition of Thrive, with the latter an “exceptionally interesting” organisation. They believe that the multiomic approach “is the way to go”, as “it’s very obvious that proteins are going to give you early detection capabilities that cell-free DNA will be less effective in”.
They added: “If you need a combination of sensitivity and specificity to really have an effective test, you’re probably going to need multiomics, which is part of my scepticism about Grail.”
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The information used in compiling this document has been obtained by Third Bridge from experts participating in Forum Interviews. Third Bridge does not warrant the accuracy of the information and has not independently verified it. It should not be regarded as a trade recommendation or form the basis of any investment decision.
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