NASDAQ powerhouse NeoGenomics Inc has exercised its right to hoover up the whole of Cambridge liquid biopsy specialist Inivata.

Having made a $25 million minority investment in the Cambridge UK business, Florida-based NeoGenomics has taken up a fixed price option to buy the remainder for a further $390m.

NeoGenomics is a leading provider of cancer-focused genetic testing services and global oncology contract research services. Inivata is a Cambridge Innovation Capital investee company.

Inivata will remain a separate business division alongside NeoGenomics’ growing clinical, pharma and informatics operations. CEO Clive Morris will become president of Inivata and report to Mark Mallon, CEO of NeoGenomics.

Inivata will be focused on the continued development of leading liquid biopsy tests including RaDaR™, the highly sensitive personalised assay for the detection of residual disease and recurrence (MRD).

Proof-of-principle data presented at this year’s AACR Annual Meeting showed RaDaR demonstrated excellent specificity (100 per cent) and sensitivity (100 per cent) in detecting MRD in patient cohorts with head and neck cancer and early-stage breast cancer.

These results provided growing evidence in support of RaDaR’s capabilities in different cancer types, building on data previously reported in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), where RaDaR detected ctDNA 6-12 months ahead of clinical progression in the majority of cases and predicted lower progression free survival.

Clive Morris said: “Joining the NeoGenomics Group provides Inivata with an excellent foundation to support our growth ambitions. Our two organisations have highly complementary capabilities and we are excited to combine with NeoGenomics following a successful year of working together.

“By leveraging our combined resources, we expect to accelerate the development of our promising RaDaR minimal residual disease assay and bolster commercialisation efforts with biopharma before driving a successful launch into the clinical setting.”

Mallon added: “NeoGenomics has spent the better part of the last year working in partnership with the exceptional team of professionals at Inivata while conducting confirmatory due diligence on Inivata and its world-leading liquid biopsy platform technology.

“We are exercising our option to purchase Inivata eight months ahead of plan and are delighted to welcome Inivata’s world class team of liquid biopsy experts and talented employees to NeoGenomics.”

Inivata’s InVision® platform unlocks essential genomic information from a simple blood draw to guide and personalise cancer treatment, monitor response and detect relapse.

The technology is based on pioneering research from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Institute, University of Cambridge. Its lead product, InVisionFirst®-Lung is commercially available internationally and through NeoGenomics in the US.

NeoGenomics operates CAP accredited and CLIA certified laboratories in Fort Myers and Tampa, Florida; Aliso Viejo, Carlsbad and San Diego, California; Houston, Texas; Atlanta, Georgia; Nashville, Tennessee; and CAP accredited laboratories in Rolle, Switzerland, and Singapore.

It serves the needs of pathologists, oncologists, academic centres, hospital systems, pharmaceutical firms, integrated service delivery networks, and managed care organisations throughout the US and pharmaceutical firms in Europe and Asia.

Robert Tansley, Partner at Cambridge Innovation Capital, commented:

“By combining NeoGenomic’s leadership in cancer diagnostics with Inivata’s ground-breaking cancer management technology, this acquisition represents a significant milestone in the sector. CIC has backed Inivata since its seed round and participated in every round since, validating CIC’s differentiated strategy of gaining early access to the most innovative life sciences and technology companies in the Cambridge ecosystem and partnering with them through their lifecycles. This acquisition will accelerate patients’ access to their technology.”