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Diagnostics Firms, Lab Providers Form Genomic Profiling Coalition

NEW YORK – Exact Sciences, Foundation Medicine, Illumina, Laboratory Corporation of America, Qiagen, Roche Diagnostics, and Thermo Fisher Scientific said on Tuesday that they have formed the Access to Comprehensive Genomic Profiling Coalition (ACGP), an organization that will collectively advocate for broad US health insurance coverage of comprehensive genomic profiling for advanced cancer patients.

CGP testing performed soon after a diagnosis of advanced cancer can inform treatment decisions and patient care, which can improve clinical outcomes, the coalition said. In advocating for payor coverage of the technology, the ACGP plans to educate health insurers and other stakeholders about its clinical utility and economic value.

Some health insurers still use an outdated framework to evaluate coverage for CGP, creating a disparity in access across patient populations, the organization noted. Many commercial insurance plans do not cover this type of testing, while public or government plans like Medicare do.

"Cancer is a disease of the genome, not solely the tissue. Tumor profiling has evolved tremendously in the last decade," Jim Almas, vice president and national medical director of clinical effectiveness at LabCorp and the chairman of the ACGP, said in a statement. "The manufacturers and laboratories forming the coalition have produced incredible assays to help identify the mutations driving advanced cancers, leading patients to better care through targeted cancer treatments."

Almas also noted that obstacles to coverage have stopped physicians from ordering comprehensive genomic profiling tests for their patients, and that some clinicians may not be aware of the advantages of comprehensive testing for detecting markers such as microsatellite instability and tumor mutational burden.