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Tag Archives: Put It on the Board —

Put It on the Board

FDA clears 2 of 3 ePlex blood culture ID panels:
January 2019—GenMark Diagnostics announced in December that it received FDA market clearance for its ePlex Blood Culture Identification Gram-Positive (BCID-GP) and Fungal Pathogen (BCID-FP) panels. GenMark’s third panel, ePlex Blood Culture Identification Gram-Negative (BCID-GN), was submitted to the FDA in September 2018 and is still under review. The fungal pathogens panel has broad coverage and includes many resistant and emerging strains, among them Candida auris, GenMark said in its statement. The company says that by coupling BCID panels with the ePlex Templated Comments software module, hospitals can enable immediate intervention linked to a diagnostic result and improve the effectiveness of antimicrobial stewardship initiatives.

12 assays for Atellica Solution:
Siemens Healthineers achieved 12 pre-market approvals from the FDA for its Atellica Solution infectious disease and oncology testing menu.

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Pathologists and population health—
first steps

December 2018—Pathologists and population health—first steps: Pathologists who want to become involved in population health initiatives can take five main steps, say pathologists and laboratory leaders interviewed for an article published online last month in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine. In “The role of the pathologist in population health,” the authors report on the interviews they conducted and their review of the literature to answer several questions, among them whether pathologists in both large settings and smaller community-based settings can engage in population health (yes), and whether pathologists are in a position to analyze data for population health (“The data are there,” they say, “but getting to the data—and providing meaning out of it—is the hard part”). One of the first steps to becoming involved in any type of population health management activities, the authors write, is to understand the philosophy of the institution’s CEO and senior management.

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Quest acquires PhenoPath
November 2018—Quest Diagnostics has acquired PhenoPath Laboratories, which provides immunophenotyping, hematopathology, and molecular pathology services. The PhenoPath business, in Seattle, will operate as part of AmeriPath, a wholly owned business of Quest. Steve Rusckowski, Quest chairman, president, and CEO, said in a statement: “PhenoPath has a strong record of innovation and provides several capabilities that complement and extend our own, particularly in pathology and molecular oncology. It also deepens our presence in the Pacific Northwest.” PhenoPath founder Allen Gown, MD, tells CAP TODAY that continued consolidation in the laboratory industry and insurance reimbursement challenges have posed significant risks to PhenoPath’s future growth. “In Quest/AmeriPath,” he says, “we found an organization that realized not only the excellence of PhenoPath’s past and present but also the extraordinary future that, with their assistance, we can have.” Dr. Gown founded PhenoPath in 1998.

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Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit approved as companion diagnostic for Vizimpro October 2018—The FDA has approved a PMA supplement expanding the labeling claim of the Qiagen Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit to allow its use as a companion diagnostic with Pfizer’s Vizimpro (dacomitinib). Vizimpro is for first-line treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer with EGFR exon 19 deletions or an exon 21 L858R mutation. The Therascreen EGFR RGQ PCR kit is now approved as a companion diagnostic to guide the use of three FDA-approved therapies, including also Gilotrif (afatinib) from Boehringer Ingelheim and Iressa (gefitinib) from AstraZeneca. It is registered in more than 40 countries. This was a project governed under an agreement between Qiagen and Pfizer.

Philips introduces computational pathology software for tumor detection Royal Philips announced in September the latest release of TissueMark, which the company says now supports region of interest detection for the majority of molecular testing.

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Broad-based molecular testing for NSCLC September 2018—A recently published study on broad-based genomic sequencing and survival among patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer in the community oncology setting should not lead to the conclusion that such sequencing should be avoided in nonsquamous NSCLC, say Paul A. Bunn Jr., MD, and Dara L. Aisner, MD, PhD, of the University of Colorado Denver, Aurora. Dr. Bunn, of the Department of Medical Oncology, and Dr. Aisner, of the Department of Pathology, in an editorial published Aug. 7 in JAMA, caution readers about the study published in the same issue, which found that broad-based sequencing (more than 30 cancer genes) directly informed treatment in a minority of patients and was not independently associated with better survival. The study of 5,688 patients with advanced NSCLC was based on data acquired through abstraction and aggregation of information from the electronic medical record from 191 U.S. community oncology practices.

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Cobas HPV test approved for first-line screening using SurePath preservative fluid
August 2018—Roche received FDA approval for the Cobas HPV test to be used as the first-line screening test for cervical cancer in women 25 and older using specimens collected in SurePath preservative fluid. The Roche test is now the only HPV test approved for use as a primary screening test with both SurePath and ThinPrep PreservCyt Solution. It is approved for all of the screening indications supported by guidelines—primary screening in women 25 and older, reflex testing of unclear Pap test results in women 21 and older, and cotesting with a Pap test in women 30 and older—with both of the primary collection media types. “With this additional approval for the Cobas HPV Test, laboratories and clinicians now have an approved option that can be used for all of their HPV screening indications and sample types,” Ann Costello, head of Roche tissue diagnostics, said in a statement.

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High-sensitivity troponin I assay available in the U.S.
July 2018—Beckman Coulter Diagnostics received 510(k) clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for its new high-sensitivity troponin assay, Access hsTnI, for use on the Access 2, DxI, and the entire Access family of immunoassay systems. Access hsTnI demonstrates less than 10 percent CV at the upper reference limits for men and women and detects troponin in more than 50 percent of the healthy population. In an independent study, Access hsTnI detected more than 99 percent of troponin values for healthy men and women (Pretorius CJ, et al. Clin Biochem. 2018;​55:​49–55). “Beckman Coulter’s high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I assay can measure very low cardiac troponin concentrations with excellent precision. This test may help physicians with both the early diagnosis of myocardial infarction and future risk stratification in and outside the acute coronary syndrome setting,” Peter Kavsak, PhD, associate professor, Department of Pathology and Molecular Medicine, McMaster Uni­versity, said in a statement.

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June 2018—FDA clears T2Bacteria panel for detecting sepsis-causing pathogens: T2 Biosystems received market clearance from the Food and Drug Administration for the T2Bacteria panel for the direct detection of bacterial species in human whole blood specimens from patients with suspected bloodstream infections.

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Put It on the Board, 5/18

May 2018—FDA approves osimertinib for NSCLC, nivolumab + ipilimumab for RCC: The FDA on April 18 approved osimertinib (Tagrisso, AstraZeneca) for the first-line treatment of patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer whose tumors have EGFR exon 19 deletions or exon 21 L858R mutations, as detected by an FDA-approved test.

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Put It on the Board, 4/18

April 2018—CMS changes proposed policy on NGS for cancer patients: The CAP and the Association for Molecular Pathology, in separate statements in March, lauded the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for revising its national coverage determination on next-generation sequencing.

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