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Bio-Rad and Allegheny Health Network Cancer Institute collaborate to advance personalized monitoring of solid tumor cancers with droplet digital PCR

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Bio-Rad Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: BIO and BIO.B) announces a collaboration with Allegheny Health Network (AHN), a western Pennsylvania–based integrated healthcare system. This research collaboration aims to generate clinical evidence across a range of cancer types to support the implementation of Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital™ PCR (ddPCR™) technology for tumor-informed molecular residual disease (MRD) monitoring of patients with solid tumor cancer following curative-intent treatment. 


MRD monitoring in patients provides a critical indication of both remission and potential relapse. MRD testing has been widely adopted for monitoring hematological malignancies and is now being implemented for solid tumor diseases. However, disease markers such as circulating tumor DNA, or ctDNA, are often in very low abundance in the blood, especially for solid tumors, and this necessitates an ultra-sensitive detection method. Offering unmatched sensitivity, precision, and absolute quantification capabilities, Bio-Rad’s multiplex ddPCR technology could be used to detect molecular responses earlier and more precisely than is possible with other commonly used technologies, including next-generation sequencing (NGS). 

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The collaboration combines Bio-Rad’s market leading digital PCR technology and track record in molecular oncology, assay design and development with AHN’s cancer-care expertise, clinical data, and patient samples collected through the AHN Cancer Institute’s Moonshot program. Moonshot has assembled samples and data from thousands of patients to enable biomarker research for predicting patient outcomes and response to therapy. 


Together, through this project, Bio-Rad and AHN aim to generate clinical evidence to support the use of Bio-Rad’s Droplet Digital PCR Systems, including the QX600™ ddPCR System, in routine MRD monitoring of patients with a range of solid tumor types. The advanced multiplexing capabilities of the QX600 ddPCR System enable the development of assays with unparalleled sensitivity plus a cost-effective, fast, and straightforward approach, with the potential of improving cancer patient outcomes by enabling more timely and effective therapeutic interventions. 


“Bio-Rad is partnering to accelerate research with industry leaders and major academic and clinical centers to establish ddPCR as a foundational technology, and this project with AHN is a prime example of our dedication to supporting molecular monitoring in oncology worldwide,” said Simon May, EVP and President of Life Sciences at Bio-Rad Laboratories. “We are proud to be active players in the growing MRD space, and we are confident that the unmatched sensitivity and precision of our ddPCR platform takes the industry another step toward improving the lives of cancer patients.”  


“AHN is committed to finding innovative ways to treat our cancer patients based on their unique genomic characteristics to achieve the best outcome possible within our Living Health model,” said William A. LaFramboise, PhD, Professor and Chief Genomics Technology Officer, AHN Cancer Institute. “Implementing novel molecular technology in partnership with Bio-Rad will allow us to monitor the response of solid tumors to therapy using routine patient blood samples and will help us achieve proof-of-concept for Bio-Rad’s ddPCR platform in detecting MRD in our patients.”