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Neon Therapeutics to use Natera's DNA test in lung cancer study

Cambridge, Mass.-based Neon Therapeutics Inc. will use Natera Inc.'s custom DNA test to measure treatment response in a lung cancer study of its NEO-PV-01 drug.

Natera's Signatera is a circulating tumor DNA assay designed to monitor treatment response, detect remaining cancer cells and predict disease recurrence.

NEO-PV-01 is Neon Therapeutics' personal cancer vaccine designed specifically for each patient and their tumor-specific DNA mutations.

Neon Therapeutics, in collaboration with Merck & Co. Inc., is conducting an early stage trial, known as NT-002, to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of NEO-PV-01 in combination with Merck's blockbuster drug Keytruda and chemotherapy for untreated patients with advanced or non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer that has spread into other parts of the body.

With the help of Signatera, the companies aim to assess the immunological and clinical treatment response of patients with more specificity and sensitivity.

In September, Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. also agreed to use Signatera in a phase 2 study testing Opdivo, a rival of Keytruda, as an additional therapy for patients with lung cancer.

San Carlos, Calif.-based Natera is a genetic testing and diagnostics company that develops noninvasive methods for analyzing DNA.

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