Contextual Genomics and the Personalized Medicine Initiative Add ArcherDX, the Sixth Consortium Partner, to its National Access Project

August 03, 2015 – Contextual Genomics Inc.

Vancouver, BC – August 3, 2015 – Contextual Genomics, developers of genomics-based cancer tests, and the Personalized Medicine Initiative (PMI), an organization bringing molecular-based medicine to Canadians, are pleased to welcome its sixth consortium partner, ArcherDX, to the National Access Project.  ArcherDX develops best-in-class next generation sequencing (NGS) applications.

The goal of the National Access Project is to make genomics testing a standard practice in cancer care and to help inform treatment decisions and drive a change towards personalized medicine. This individualized approach will result in improved quality of life, better health outcomes and major cost savings to health care systems. ArcherDX is the sixth partner to join the National Access Project, which also includes AstraZeneca, Illumina, LifeLabs, Pfizer, and Sanofi.

“ArcherDX is a leading developer of gene fusion assays and we are very pleased to utilize their products in identifying lung cancer gene mutations,” commented Chris Wagner, President and CEO of Contextual Genomics.  “The National Access Project’s genomics cancer tests identify the gene mutations contributing to the cancers.  In lung cancer in particular, an abnormal EML4-ALK gene fusion can occur, and Archer’s FusionPlex™ technology will enhance our cancer panel tests to identify this mutated gene fusion in lung cancer patients.”

“We believe the National Access Project is leading the way in the shift towards personalized cancer care,” stated Jason Myers, CEO of ArcherDX.  “Lung cancer is the most lethal type of cancer, and the EML4-ALK gene fusion mutation is linked almost exclusively to non-smokers. Through the National Access Project, we hope to further our understanding of the potential causes of this mutation and improve the health outcomes for people with lung cancer,” Myers added.

About The National Access Project
The National Access Project for Cancer Testing, managed by the Personalized Medicine Initiative with testing provided by Contextual Genomics, provides a 90-mutation cancer genomics test for 2,000 cancer patients free of charge in ten centres across Canada. Each identified mutation is actionable with current medications or Phase 3 investigational treatments. As part of the program, real-time reports will be made available enabling patients and oncologists to make informed treatment decisions early.

The first phase of the project is currently underway and is retrospectively mapping tumours to identify the mutations for approximately 500 patients.  The results of the genetic mapping and corresponding therapies will be shared with oncologists.

This second phase will involve broadening the patient base to approximately 1,500 patients across the country to prospectively evaluate and match specific tumor types with approximately 40 therapy options. It is hoped that by understanding a patient’s personal genomic profile, both healthcare professional and patients will be better equipped to diagnose and treat cancer. The goal of personalized medicine is to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs and adverse drug reactions.

About Contextual Genomics:
Contextual Genomics is developing a novel suite of standardized genomics-based cancer tests to identify a patient’s tumour profile. This precision in cancer diagnosis allows healthcare professionals to more accurately determine the most effective treatment options for the patient using a single test.  The company’s first products are actionable molecular tests that unify multiple companion diagnostics for multiple medicines into a single test that guides diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

Led by global leaders in molecular diagnostics, genomics and bioinformatics who have unparalleled expertise in genomic assay development, Contextual Genomics aims to bring patients a gold standard in molecular diagnostics that will lead to advanced services in personalized cancer care.

About Personalized Medicine Initiative:  
The PMI is an inclusive organization representing stakeholders in BC and Canada that has the objective of bringing personalized, molecularly-based medicine to Canadians with the aim of improving healthcare outcomes and efficiency as well as enabling more effective preventive health delivery. The PMI is based at the Life Sciences Institute at UBC; Canada’s leading Life Sciences Institute.

About ArcherDX:
ArcherDX addresses the bottlenecks associated with using next-generation sequencing in translational research by offering a robust platform for targeted sequencing applications. Combining Anchored Multiplexed PCR (AMP) chemistry and easy-to-use, lyophilized reagents, our technology generates a highly enriched library of gene targets of interest for downstream genomic sequencing. Complemented by the Archer™ suite of bioinformatics software and readily accessible reports, ArcherDX’s technology enables enhancement in mutation detection speed as well as complex mutation identification and discovery. ArcherDX offers FusionPlex panels to detect ALK, RET, ROS1, FGFR and NTRK fusions and those associated with sarcomas and hematological malignancies. ArcherDX is headquartered in Boulder, Colo., and maintains manufacturing operations in Beverly, Mass.
For further information:

Contextual Genomics
Chris Wagner
President and CEO

Personalized Medicine Initiative
Rob Fraser, PhD
COO, Personalized Medicine Initiative

Todd Pollard
Vice President of Global Sales and Support

This release contains forward-looking statements that are not based on historical fact. These forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.