Our mission at Foundation Medicine is to transform cancer care for patients. We believe that we can redefine the way patients are diagnosed and treated through a deeper understanding of cancer, shaping the future of routine care and ultimately improving outcomes for more individuals living with cancer.
But this is not a mission we can accomplish on our own. Changing the course of cancer requires deep collaboration across the healthcare ecosystem, which is why over the past decade we’ve built partnerships with academic institutions, biopharma organizations and patient advocacy groups that span the oncology landscape with one goal in mind: do what’s best for patients.
As I mentioned earlier this year, together with our partners, we’ve already transformed the way we understand, diagnose and treat many types of cancer, but we’ve really only unlocked a fraction of what we can do for patients. I’m passionate about forging new relationships that have the potential to change the treatment paradigm, which is why I am so excited about our latest collaboration.
We have just begun a partnership with Takeda, to develop FoundationOne CDx and FoundationOne Liquid CDx as companion diagnostics for therapies in Takeda’s late-stage lung cancer portfolio. Takeda is a leader in the oncology space, who shares our commitment to patient-centric innovation and belief that cancer patients need access to high quality genomic testing to inform personalized treatment decisions.
The collaboration is focused on developing appropriate companion diagnostics for Takeda’s approved therapy for ALK+ metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, and mobocertinib, a drug candidate currently being evaluated for the treatment of NSCLC patients with EGFR exon 20 insertions. This effort will expand the utility of our FDA-approved diagnostic tests, FoundationOne CDx and FoundationOne Liquid CDx, but it’s really about more than that. It will expand access to genomic testing and help bring options to patients who currently have few.
Important Progress in NSCLC
This collaboration is only possible because our understanding of lung cancer and its drivers continues to evolve, helping to make important advances. Over the last decade, there has been an exponential increase in our knowledge of the molecular underpinnings of lung cancer. From a broad treatment approach based on histology or a few known biomarkers, we are now able to identify several different mutations responsible for lung cancer growth, with a range of targeted treatments available to patients – and more on the way.
Takeda’s investigational drug mobocertinib, for example, is currently being evaluated for the treatment of patients with NSCLC with EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations – a relatively small patient population who is in desperate need of treatment options as existing EGFR inhibitors may not work for patients with this mutation.
But understanding the molecular basis of lung cancer and working toward therapeutic development is only the first step toward advancing patient care. This increase in knowledge has made the reality of diagnosis in the clinic more complex. The sheer number of potential lung cancer mutations to test for makes single gene or “hot spot” genomic testing inadequate; it is only through a comprehensive approach to testing that oncologists can see all potentially relevant mutations, including those that may only appear in a small subset of patients.
Unfortunately, today’s reality is that NSCLC patients with ALK or EGFR exon 20 insertion mutations can be misdiagnosed due to a lack of awareness of effective testing methods among healthcare providers and there is a critical need for companion diagnostics to match the right patient with the right treatment.
This is why we’re so proud to partner with Takeda on this journey. A community of collaboration united in a collective, patient-centric vision is vital to translate the breakthroughs that scientists are delivering into outcomes for patients in the clinic who currently have no “next step.” Our strengths and Takeda’s reinforce and complement each other; our deep genomic expertise combined with their innovative approach to therapeutic development will undoubtably result in profound impact for patients.
Lung Cancer Foundation of America. What are the Most Commonly Tested Mutations and Treatments. https://lcfamerica.org/research-grants/therapies/available-targeted-therapies/
 Lung Cancer Foundation of America. What are the Most Commonly Tested Mutations and Treatments. https://lcfamerica.org/research-grants/therapies/available-targeted-therapies/