BioReference Laboratories, Inc. Launches OnkoSight(TM), an Advanced Tumor Sequencing Program

ELMWOOD PARK, N.J., Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc. (Nasdaq:BRLI) announced today the introduction of two new sequencing tests that the Company believes will significantly enhance the information that providers can obtain from the tumor itself when treating oncology patients.

BioReference Laboratories, through its cancer business unit, GenPath Oncology, will call this novel next-generation sequencing (NGS) program for cancer testing "OnkoSight™". The program has launched custom designed NGS panels for both solid tumors and myeloid disorders. The panels are designed to maximize the yield of clinically actionable results while decreasing the cost of NGS in order to increase broader patient accessibility.

"We believe that there is a documented clinical need for next generation testing in cancer. However, the solution has to provide valuable genetic information while lowering the barrier to access. BioReference believes every cancer patient should have access to this important technology in order to better ensure optimal treatment wherever possible. OnkoSight™ is a significant step in that direction, specifically conceived to be clinically actionable and cost effective," stated Marc Grodman, M.D., CEO.

The tumor sequencing program at BioReference is led by Robert Daber, PhD., a recognized leader in next-generation sequencing. "Although our knowledge in tumor sequencing is beginning to mature, the fact remains that both the assay and informatics present unique challenges that require customized solutions." The OnkoSight panels and workflow were designed to work with very small and challenging specimens while maintaining high levels of sensitivity. With industry leading nucleic acid input levels, OnkoSight ensures broader access to testing.

"We believe that a robust informatics pipeline is as critical to accurate and consistent genetic results as the upstream NGS process. We utilize an internally developed bioinformatics pipeline to ensure accurate results," said Dr. Daber. OnkoSight analytics can see what other pipelines do not such as large insertions and deletions (indels) and copy number variations. "Large indels are a notorious challenge in NGS and we have developed algorithms to identify these mutations with very high sensitivity."

The NGS panels consist of genes that were carefully selected to increase clinical actionability in reports and to reduce the number of variants of uncertain significance (VUS) that can cause confusion to oncologists. The two comprehensive panels, OnkoSight Solid and OnkoSight Myeloid, consist of 31 genes and 37 genes respectively. Six additional focused panels are available based on tumor type: lung, colon, melanoma, myelodsyplastic syndromes (MDS), acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPN). "By being smart in how we designed our panels we are able to provide the most clinically actionable information at a lower price point with the highest sensitivity and specificity. That's a win, win for patients and clinicians," said Dr. Daber.

Dr. Grodman noted: "With the addition of tumor sequencing BioReference through GenPath Oncology now adds another diagnostic tool for the provider to utilize in managing their cancer patient. We can offer the oncologist virtually every test needed for patient care, through routine clinical, pathology, special coagulation, inherited cancer testing such as BRCA and now tumor sequencing. BioReference is increasingly becoming a provider centric company. As new technologies emerge we bring them to market responsibly as they are shown to have maturity and clinical utility. No other laboratory offers the continuum of sequencing based diagnostics from rare disorders to tumor sequencing, from carrier testing to Exomes, from Inherited Cancer testing to Non-Invasive Pre-Natal testing that BioReference offers. We think this is a compelling service to providers."

About BioReference Laboratories, Inc.

BioReference Laboratories is one of the largest and fastest growing full service diagnostic laboratories in the world, providing clinical testing services to physician offices, clinics, hospitals, long term care facilities and employers while also advancing drug discovery and development with disease foundations, academic and pharmaceutical partners. Our comprehensive testing capabilities and expertise spans molecular diagnostics, anatomical pathology, women's health, oncology and rare disease genetics. BioReference, and our subsidiaries, have an international presence in more than 50 countries.

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Source:Bio-Reference Laboratories, Inc.