Thermo Fisher Scientific, through its clinical sequencing business, has entered into a multi-year agreement with AstraZeneca to co-develop next-generation sequencing (NGS)-based companion diagnostics (CDx) to support AstraZeneca’s portfolio of targeted therapies.

NGS-based CDx are widely used to match patients with new treatments for cancer and other diseases.

AstraZeneca said that more than 90% of its clinical pipeline contains targeted precision therapies, across oncology, cardiovascular, renal, metabolic and respiratory disease areas.

AstraZeneca precision medicine and biosamples senior vice president Ruth March said: “Using the latest diagnostic science allows us to match the best treatment to the patient.

“This collaboration with Thermo Fisher offers the technology, expertise and ability to decentralize CDx tests to local healthcare providers across our global markets, which will help us identify more patients around the world who may benefit from treatments and effective patient care.”

Thermo Fisher said that it offers the only globally distributable NGS CDx solution approved and reimbursed by government and commercial insurers in more than 15 countries.

The NGS CDx solution is approved in the US, various European countries, Japan, South Korea and the Middle East, covering more than 550 million people worldwide.

In 2019, the company has rolled out Ion Torrent Genexus System, the first fully integrated NGS platform featuring an automated specimen-to-report workflow.

The system is said to expand global access to a growing list of precision medicine therapies, and economically delivers results in a single day.

Thermo Fisher’s complete NGS workflow includes various solid tumour biomarkers and liquid biopsy testing solutions, powered by Ion AmpliSeq technology.

Thermo Fisher Scientific next-generation sequencing and clinical oncology president Garret Hampton said: “As the pipeline of targeted therapies expands, the availability of diagnostic tools that can interrogate multiple biomarkers simultaneously will ensure patients can be matched with the right therapies more rapidly – this is the promise of precision medicine.

“Introduction of diagnostic tools early in the process of drug development can further facilitate the success of companion diagnostic development – and that’s what we’re doing with AstraZeneca.”

Last year, Thermo Fisher has partnered with Roche’s Japanese subsidiary Chugai Pharmaceutical to use a CDx to identify a type of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).