BioReference Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: BRLI) and its GenPath Oncology business unit and through its exclusive commercialization agreement with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) is introducing its groundbreaking solid tumor genotype test. The test – which will be marketed as OnkoMatch TM – will help oncologists match patients with cancer therapies tailored to a particular genetic mutation driving the disease and potentially identify additional patients who might qualify for clinical trials. Beginning on January 23, 2012, OnkoMatch TM will be available to community oncology practices and hospitals nationally through GenPath, making cutting edge technology accessible to patients around the country. This is the first time a solid tumor genotyping test for cancer has been available nationally, combining the clinical and scientific expertise of Mass General with the efficiency, service and technical capabilities of GenPath. “Historically there has been a disconnect between academic research and the clinical options available to most patients. Through our commercialization agreement with MGH we have collaborated in key areas such as bioinformatics and clinical interpretation to increase tumor genotyping access nationally for patients. As drug companies continue to invest in personalized therapies, there is a need to identify more patients who could benefit from these advancements as well as bring hope to those who have simply run out of therapeutic options.” said Marc D. Grodman, MD, President and CEO of BioReference Laboratories. OnkoMatch TM is specifically designed for solid tumor cancers such as lung, breast, colon, pancreas, thyroid and skin. From a single tissue specimen taken from the patient’s tumor, the test will analyze 14 oncogenes, genes that drive cancer, across 68 mutational hot spots. “We used sophisticated DNA extraction and mutational analysis techniques developed at MGH’s Translational Research Laboratory, based on a process called multiplex PCR” (polymerase chain reaction) technology,” said John Iafrate, MD-PhD, Director of Molecular Pathology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. “We can now extract DNA samples from extremely small tumor tissue samples, targeting many genes at once and accurately reporting the mutations that are being tested.” Tumor genotyping through OnkoMatch TM will enable oncologists to match their patients with appropriate targeted therapy, either FDA approved or in a clinical trial setting. Often patients with advanced disease are refractory to currently approved therapies and as a result, investigational therapies are sought to induce a tumor response. GenPath will share with the oncologist links to clinical trials associated with detected mutations allowing them to quickly access information needed to enroll patients in an appropriate trial. In comparison to other tumor genotyping assays, such as next-gen sequencing, OnkoMatch TM is significantly less costly (<$1,000) and reported much more quickly. The turn-around time for OnkoMatch TM is seven days – significantly faster than the standard 3-4 weeks for genotyping tests. “ OnkoMatch TM represents a seismic shift in cancer diagnostics. The test will enable oncologists to genetically profile a patient’s tumor at a reasonable cost thus increasing patient access to novel therapies.” said Dr. Grodman. OnkoMatch TM is expected to be covered by all major insurance carriers. “This kind of genotyping is going to become part of everyday care for cancer patients, and we are enthusiastic that GenPath will make it broadly available,” noted Dr. Iafrate.
About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.BRLI is a clinical testing laboratory offering testing, information and related services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, employers and governmental units. We believe that we are the fourth largest full-service laboratory in the United States and the largest independent regional laboratory in the Northeastern market. BRLI offers a comprehensive list of laboratory testing services utilized by healthcare providers in the detection, diagnosis, evaluation, monitoring and treatment of diseases. BRLI primarily focuses on esoteric testing, molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, women’s health and correctional health care. Statements included in this release that are not historical in nature are intended to be, and are hereby identified as, “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by words such as "expects," "anticipates," "intends," "plans," "believes," "seeks," "estimates," "will" or words of similar meaning and include, but are not limited to, statements about the expected future business and financial performance of Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. and its subsidiaries. Such statements involve known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause the Company’s actual results in future periods to be materially different from any future performance suggested herein. Risks and uncertainties that may affect the future results of the Company include, but are not limited to, adverse results from failure to comply with applicable laws and regulations governing our business or government investigations, lawsuits or private actions, the competitive environment, changes in government regulations, changing relationships with customers, payers, suppliers and strategic partners and other risks and uncertainties detailed from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or review any forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future developments or otherwise. www.bioreference.com