Roche’s cobas EGFR liquid biopsy use suffers in light of popular panel tests as NSCLC landscape evolves, experts say

18 Jan 2019

Roche’s (SIX:ROG) cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2 liquid biopsy diagnostic used with and after initial treatment with its own drug Tarceva (erlotinib) is becoming increasingly redundant as more physicians choose AstraZeneca’s (LON:AZN) Tagrisso (osimertinib) for first-line (1L) treatment of EGFR mutant non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

The standard-of-care (SOC) diagnostic meant to detect the most common EGFR mutations, including resistance mutations after progression on 1L EGFR inhibitor therapy, is expected to be usurped by liquid biopsy panels—from players like Guardant Health (NASDAQ:GH) and Foundation Medicine (NASDAQ:FMI)—that identify multiple targets, following the shift in the NSCLC treatment landscape, physicians added.

NSCLC experts at large medical centers already prefer liquid biopsy panels to tissue-based panels, due to challenges in accessing original tissue biopsies versus the ease of sample collection for liquid biopsies.

Analysts estimate the liquid biopsy market to be worth USD 30bn, with Guardant currently operating in the USD 4bn commercial metastatic cancer therapy management market with more than 700,000 patients.

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