One of the most exciting developments in the life sciences and diagnostics is the advancement of liquid biopsy, which is why we are dedicating a Track to it, June 29th, at PMWC 2022 Silicon Valley (June 28-30). Gleaning meaningful insights from tiny amounts of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA), the premise underpinning liquid biopsy tests, has already found some use in complementing confirmed cancer diagnoses. Liquid biopsy has also been used for therapy selection and treatment optimization in patients recently diagnosed with cancer, or for monitoring cancer survivors/disease progression. Liquid biopsy is certainly a tool that will transform how precision medicine, and specifically diagnosis, will be performed.

Despite the initial slow uptake in the clinic, liquid biopsy tests incorporating methylation and other signatures are showing increasingly compelling data for non-invasive detection of cancer. Although significant financial resources have been poured into the sector, the field overall is still in the early stages of development and has yet to reach its full potential.

And yet, some recent highlights demonstrate the big strides the liquid biopsy sector has made over the last couple of years, including:
• There are now over 100 companies developing or commercializing liquid biopsy products, estimated that the entire sector could reach a market opportunity of $130B in the United States alone.

The early detection sector is populated by both large and small players, including Exact Sciences, Foundation Medicine, Freenome, Grail (the subject of a $7.1B buyout bid by Illumina, which is facing scrutiny from both U.S. and EU regulators), Guardant Health, Natera, Bluestar Genomics and Biocept.
Large funding rounds and acquisition happened:
o EXACT Sciences acquired Thrive Earlier Detection for $2.15B (October 2020) and Agilent acquired Resolution Bioscience, a liquid biopsy platform provider to strengthen Agilent’s leadership potential in cancer diagnostics (March 2021).
o Large investments have poured into the sector in 2021 alone (e.g., Freenome raised $300M which brings the total financing to over $800M; Delfi Diagnostics received $100M; InterVenn raised $201M which brings the total financing to ~$280M; and Adela launched with $60M).

• FDA approval of the pan-tumor companion, liquid biopsy test FoundationOne Liquid CDx to identify patients who may benefit from treatment with specific FDA-approved targeted therapies, including an indication for Rubraca (rucaparib), a poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor for treatment in patients with BRCA 1/2-mutant metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and three first-line tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer (August 2020). Since then, the test has been broadened to people with other types of cancers.

• FDA approval of the Guardant360 CDx liquid biopsy test as a companion diagnostic to identify non-small cell lung cancer patients with epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) alterations who may benefit from treatment with Tagrisso® (osimertinib). The Guardant360® CDx liquid biopsy has also been CE-marked for comprehensive tumor mutation profiling across all solid cancers in March 2021.

The future will bring more clinical data, more reimbursement and regulatory progress, including groundbreaking announcements and achievements from these players.

PMWC 2022 Silicon Valley, June 28-30 has an entire track dedicated to the latest technical advancements, the learnings from the large-scale studies just completed or currently underway, and various applications that benefit from both liquid biopsy and AI applications. Here is a quick glance at the PMWC Track 5 Day 2 (June 29) agenda:

Early Cancer Detection Status Quo, Technical and Clinical Challenges, and the Future:
Panel Chaired by Jimmy Lin (Freenome) with Nicholas Dracopoli (Delfi Diagnostics), Ash Alizadeh (Stanford University), AmirAli Talasaz (Guardant Health), and Anne-Renee Hartman (Adela).
How is Liquid Biopsy Changing the Testing Paradigm for Oncology Patients:
Panel Chaired by Rebecca Brandes (Agilent), Edward Abrahams (PMC), Kate Knobil (Agilent), and Adrian Lee (University of Pittsburgh)
The Emerging Role of ctDNA for Molecular Residual Disease (MDR) Assessment and Recurrence Monitoring:
Chaired by Alexey Aleshin (Natera)
Liquid Biopsy for Screening, Diagnosis, Prognosis, and Therapy Guidance:
Chaired by Sam Salman (miR Scientific) with Frederick Boehner (Exact Sciences).
The Advantages of Extracellular Vesicles as Liquid Biopsy Based Markers:
Chaired by Johan Skog (Exosome Diagnostics) with Jamil Azzi (Harvard Medical School), and Dolores Di Vizio (Cedars Sinai Medical Center)
The Current Regulatory Landscape of Liquid Biopsy in Oncology:
Panel Chaired by Deepshikha Bhandari (GRAIL) with Ryan Woodhouse (Foundation Medicine), and Seema Sing Bhan (Thrive Earlier Detection)
Company Showcase:
Bluestar Genomics (Samuel Levy), Personalis (Richard Chen), Biocept (Michael Nall), Priti Hegde, (Foundation Medicine), Chris Hibberd (Nucleix), Klaus Lindpaintner (InterVenn), Jennifer Jackson (PGDx), Jake Chabon (Foresight Diagnostics), Patrick Arensdorf (Exai), Vanessa Vankerckhoven (Novosanis), Jesse Salk (Twinstrand), Steven Soper, The University of Kansas (BioFluidica, Inc.) and David Ge (Apostle).

You don’t want to miss this impressive lineup of presenters discussing the latest advancements in liquid biopsy at PMWC June 28-30, in Silicon Valley, register today and save.


Tal Behar
Co-founder & President, PMWC
Precision Medicine World Conference – June 28-30, 2022 Silicon Valle


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