May 21, 2018—Veracyte has launched an early access program to begin making its Envisia Genomic Classifier available to patients who are being evaluated for interstitial lung diseases, including idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Physicians from Jefferson University, Keck Medicine of USC, Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center (Wash.), and University of California, Los Angeles, are among the first participants to offer the test to their patients. The test is designed to improve physicians’ ability to differentiate idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis from other interstitial lung diseases without the need for surgery.
“Obtaining an accurate, timely IPF diagnosis is important given the availability of new drugs that can slow the progression of this debilitating disease, as well as the need to avoid inappropriate and potentially harmful treatment,” S. Samuel Weigt, MD, MS, associate professor of medicine at UCLA, and director, UCLA Interstitial Lung Disease Center, said in a Veracyte press release. “Unfortunately, IPF is often difficult to distinguish from other ILDs, even with the most advanced imaging technologies. Further, diagnostic surgery is risky, expensive, and may not be viable for some patients. We are pleased to be one of the few medical facilities in the country to have access to this breakthrough technology.”
The Envisia classifier is a 190-gene test that combines RNA sequencing and machine learning to detect the genomic pattern of usual interstitial pneumonia, a hallmark of IPF, with high accuracy (88 percent specificity and 70 percent sensitivity). Patient samples are obtained by transbronchial biopsy.