CareDx and IDbyDNA inked an exclusive partnership focused on the development of metagenomic infectious disease testing specific to transplant patients. The companies plan to develop AlloD, a tailored infectious disease testing solution that identifies more than 100 pathogens and drug resistance in viruses and bacteria, specific to organ transplant donors and recipients.
Transplant recipients take immunosuppression drugs for life to reduce the risk of organ rejection, a major side effect of a dampened immune system is a high risk of infection. Clinicians are constantly balancing therapies to maintain equilibrium and prevent both organ rejection and infection. South San Francisco, CA-based CareDx said that when combined with its AlloSure and AlloMap, the new solution, AlloD, will allow clinicians to provide comprehensive, personalized care to their patients.
Salt Lake City, UT-based IDbyDNA's precision metagenomics approach leverages the power of next-generation sequencing and is highly scalable, the companies noted. The technology is highly accurate and analyzes the genetic makeup of individual pathogen strains for improved detection.
Alexander Johnson, senior vice president of products, cell therapy, and business development at CareDx, spoke to MD+DI about why its new partnership with IDbyDNA is so important for transplant patients.
"At CareDx we are extremely focused on improving transplant patient outcomes, specifically long-term organ graft survival, so everything we do here and all the technologies that we bring to offer really are through the lens of improving long-term graft survival and improving outcomes," Johnson told MD+DI. "We pick technology partners, in a way, almost agnostically based on the needs of our patient base, our clinician base, and our ability to actually improve care."
Transplant donors and recipients already go through extensive testing for infectious diseases because transplant patients are at such a high risk of infection. The challenge, Johnson said, is that there are many pathogens beyond what is routinely tested for and despite the advantages of PCR testing, it still has limitations.
"Metagenomics testing allows large swaths of pathogens as well as antibiotic-resistance markers to become part of a general testing protocol," he said.