SAN DIEGO, May 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Biocept, Inc. (NASDAQ: BIOC), a leading molecular diagnostics company with liquid biopsy technology for cancer profiling and monitoring, announces the launch of its test to detect RET oncogene fusions from a simple blood draw. Positive identification of patients with the RET gene provides important information in determining therapy options including targeted tyrosine kinase inhibitors.
Genetic alterations RET and ROS1 genes were identified in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). In initial screening studies using a variety of genotyping techniques, RET and ROS1 rearrangements were each reported in 1-2% of patients with NSCLC. Patients with either RET or ROS1 rearrangements appear to have unique clinical and pathologic features that may facilitate identification and enrichment strategies. These features may in turn expedite enrollment in clinical trials evaluating genotype-directed therapies, such as tyrosine kinase inhibitors, in these rare patient populations. In 2015, Biocept launched a blood-based test to detect the ROS1 biomarker.
"The discovery of RET and ROS1 chromosomal rearrangements involving specific genes in patients with NSCLC has stimulated interest in developing therapies that specifically target these oncogenic fusions," said Veena Singh, M.D., Senior Vice President Senior Medical Director of Biocept. "Genetic alterations in the RET gene involve chromosomal rearrangements that result in the formation of chimeric fusion kinases capable of driving oncogenic transformation and hence offer a potential viable therapeutic target."
"Just like ALK fusions are targeted by Crizotinib, leading to improvements in patients with ALK+ lung cancer, information on RET fusions can provide similar benefits to RET targeted agents," said Michael W. Nall, President and Chief Executive Officer of Biocept. "Many of these emerging biomarkers are not easy to test for in patients with lung cancer due to limited access to tissue biopsies, this is where Biocept's liquid biopsy can make an important contribution to the treatment of patients with cancer."
More than 220,000 new cases of lung cancer are reported year in the U.S. and lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer-related mortality. The five-year survival rate for Americans lung cancer is 18%, according to the Centers for Disease Control.
Biocept, Inc. is a molecular diagnostics company with commercial tests targeting lung, breast, gastric, colorectal and prostate cancers and melanoma. The company uses its proprietary liquid biopsy technology to provide physicians with more precise information for treating and monitoring patients with cancer. The company's patented Target Selector™ liquid biopsy technology platform captures and analyzes circulating tumor DNA in both circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and in plasma (ctDNA). After thousands of tests, the platform has proven to be effective in identifying cancer mutations. Biocept plans to introduce additional CLIA-validated tests in the near term. For additional information, please visit www.biocept.com.
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SOURCE Biocept, Inc.