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it taps a potential new market. Today’s results are just from a small group of patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia that originates from T cells. There is potential to duplicate this result in other leukemias and lymphomas, because the vast majority arise from aberrant T and B cells, but scientists will certainly want to see more data to prove the technology’s usefulness, Robins says. And while the results were clear-cut in Adaptive’s favor in this test against flow cytometry, some flow cytometry experts may wonder how wide Adaptive’s margin of victory might be against another technique more commonly used in Europe, Robins says.
Still, the results described today were a clear win. “I expected our test to be way more sensitive, but it ended up being really clean, and it’s rare in biology to get such a clean experiment,” Robins says. “There wasn’t a case where minimal residual disease was found by flow cytometry and we didn’t find it. We found everything they found.”
Cost and turnaround time for the Adaptive test are key questions that will go a long way toward determining whether its technology makes it into a new standard of care. Adaptive hasn’t yet optimized its process for commercial runs, so Robins didn’t have definite answers on cost or turnaround time. But he says Illumina has an improved sequencing machine coming out that will enable it to reduce its turnaround time on a sample to “a couple days.” Adaptive has built its existing business by marketing its service to scientists for between $500 and $1,000 per sample. He said the company hasn’t yet determined what the price will be for diagnostic runs, but that the company is working to outfit its new lab on Eastlake Avenue East to meet FDA certifications for centralized diagnostic labs.
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