Biodesix advances lung cancer testing deal with Merck KGaA, Pfizer

BOULDER — Biodesix Inc. is moving forward with a lung cancer patient test collaboration with two pharmaceutical giants.

The Boulder-based lung cancer testing company has been collaborating on a test to determine how likely a lung cancer patient would respond based on genetic factors to avelumab, a cancer treatment jointly owned by Merck KGaA and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).

Biodesix now plans to transfer the test to its Boulder laboratories for clinical validation, according to a company statement.

Merck KGaA is the German originator of the drugmaker’s name, while Merck and Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) was originally its American subsidiary. The two companies are operationally separate despite sharing similar names.

“We are pleased to announce this next phase in our collaboration with Merck KGaA and Pfizer with the potential to extend treatment options to more patients,” Biodesix CEO Scott Hutton said in a prepared statement.