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Foundation Medicine's Data Experiment to Prove Clinical Utility



By Clinical Informatics News Staff 

November 6, 2014 | Foundation Medicine highlighted several recent industry wins yesterday including a data partnership that it hopes will further prove the business case for the company’s two cancer diagnostic panels: FoundationOne for solid tumors and FoundationOne Heme for blood cancers.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs called the third quarter results in-line with expectations, and said that the commercial developments connected to reimbursements and partnerships, “underscore[d] our positive view on FMI’s strategic plan and management execution.” They continued, “We remain of the view that NGS-based tumor profiling will soon become a standard of care for advanced cancer patients.”

The company announced yesterday that Google has agreed to cover the tests for “all employees and their families navigating cancer treatments” starting in 2015. Google’s support is significant; the company is committing to the offering the tests for about 47,000 employees and their families. And Google Ventures was one of Foundation Medicine’s earliest three supporters, so the additional buy-in is a nice vote of support.

But the more significant commercial stamp of approval was last month’s announcement that Michigan-based insurer Priority Health would cover both of the company’s tests for its 600,000 or so covered patients.

More announcements like this one would be a great boon for the company. “We would view future news of additional private payer reimbursement as a key positive for the story,” said Goldman Sachs analysts.

Another newly announced partnership may help. Foundation Medicine yesterday announced a data partnership with Cancer Outcomes Tracking and Analysis (COTA). COTA is a cloud-based platform for oncologists to share data with physicians, patients, and payers.  Foundation Medicine and COTA reached an agreement to track clinical outcomes and cost data for patients who have been tested with FoundationOne.

The partnership will start with New Jersey patients covered by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield who are newly diagnosed with stage IV adenocarcinoma of the lung and have taken a FoundationOne test. The FoundationOne data will be combined with clinical cost and electronic medical record data that COTA collects to provide a longitudinal portrait of care.

The result, Foundation Medicine hopes, will be a data-based case study proving the test’s utility and cost-effectiveness, ideally convincing more payers to set policies of coverage.

The resulting dataset is designed to provide healthcare providers and payers with the supporting clinical outcomes and costs evidence that inform value-based reimbursement decisions and cancer treatment, the company said. “The combination of genomic data, clinical information, outcomes data and economic data will provide critical insights for both payers and physicians to fully endorse the clinical and economic benefits associated with the application of comprehensive genomic profiling in this disease setting.

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