The company, which designs molecular technologies to provide physicians with clinically actionable information to improve the outcomes of patients diagnosed with cancer, said the kit will help to detect BRAF mutations, among the most frequently evaluated biomarkers across many solid tumor cancers, including lung cancer and melanoma.
Biocept previously launched its molecular assay kit for the detection of EGFR mutations and said it plans to release additional Target Selector molecular assay kits in the future.
The Target Selector kits are a patented liquid biopsy technology that detects and isolates cancer biomarkers such as circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA).
Biocept says its kits offer “superior sensitivity compared with next generation sequencing (NGS) panels for the detection of biomarkers of key oncogene mutations from a blood sample”.
In a statement, Biocept president and chief executive Michael Nall said: "In NGS and many other molecular technology platforms, most of the cost of running an assay is due to analyzing the non-mutated gene of interest, so-called 'wild type' or normal DNA. Our patented Switch-Blocker technology provides the unique ability to block the normal DNA and only analyze the target area of interest.
"Eliminating the cost related to analyzing the wild type DNA makes running a Switch-Blocker-based assay significantly more cost-effective. In the case of NGS panels the costs related to analysis of wild type DNA is compounded, because in these panels approximately 70% or more of the genes are not currently clinically actionable.”
"In international healthcare systems, access to advanced molecular testing for cancer patients can be limited because of cost issues, especially in developing countries. Therefore, we believe that Target Selector molecular assay kits, which offer the combination of a focus on clinically actionable genes, are cost-efficient to run and provide high analytical performance, will be an especially competitive offering", he added.
Contact the author Calum Muirhead at [email protected]