VA Expands Testing Arrangement with Personal Genome Diagnostics

The testing company also stated that it raised $65 million in an ongoing funding round.

The Baltimore-based genetic testing firm Personal Genome Diagnostics (PGDx) today announced the renewal and expansion of its contract with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The new contract will make the company’s testing services available at all VA facilities nationwide.

“We are pleased that all eligible VA patients in the U.S. will now be able to obtain our advanced cancer genome testing and that our non-invasive, plasma-based cancer assays will be available to the many veterans who lack access to archival tissue samples, such as those in rural areas,” PGDx CEO Douglas Ward said in a statement.

He called the VA’s decision a testament to the quality and value of his firm’s testing.

The 2 first came together in 2015, when the VA’s New England Veteran’s Integrated Service Network launched the Precision Oncology Program (POP). The VA selected PGDx as the initial provider of targeted DNA profiling for the program.

In 2016, the VA expanded the POP initiative nationwide, and their relationship with PGDx has continued to grow since. In March, the VA adopted the company’s updated CancerSELECT 125 pan-cancer profiling tool, followed by a decision in June to offer its PlasmaSELECT 64 liquid biopsy assay. Prior to today’s announcement, those tests were only available at select facilities.

The company has so far sequenced over 1,500 samples for the POP.

In the statement, PGDx vice president Mary Padilla, MD, said the continuing collaboration will inform understanding of how molecular profiling can influence cancer treatment decisions and outcomes.

The news comes amid a lucrative funding round for the genomics company. PGDx stated that it had raised $65 million in an October 30th filing to the Securities and Exchange Commission. The round is still ongoing, so investors have not been disclosed, but the company hopes to raise $111.5 million total.

November has been a windfall month for genetics testing. American companies Counsyl and Progenity announced funding rounds of $80 million and $125 million, respectively, while Chinese firm Annoroad raised $105 million. All 3 focus primarily on genomics for women’s health and fertility. The FDA also announced that it would be streamlining the review process for direct-to-consumer tests.