NantHealth Announces New Expanded Coverage with Self-Insured Employers, ‎ Insurance Payers, and Health Systems for GPS Cancer Test

Bank of America, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Sanford Health become first national and regional self-insured employers to cover next-generation whole genome sequencing and proteomics for various cancers

Sanford Health Plan follows Independence Blue Cross’s decision to make GPS Cancer testing available, accelerating the mission of Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, and expanding the ecosystem of institutions who offer and cover GPS Cancer test

LAS VEGAS, NV. – May 10, 2016 – NantHealth, LLC, a company founded by Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD, the inventor of Abraxane, today announced the expanded adoption of GPS Cancer, a unique comprehensive  molecular test to help oncology care providers guide treatment strategies for cancer care, by partnering with major self-insurers that have agreed to cover the costs for their employees requiring this test. 

GPS Cancer is a unique comprehensive molecular test that integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics, providing oncologists with a detailed molecular profile of a patient’s cancer to inform personalized treatment strategies. GPS Cancer enables detection of standard chemotherapy resistance proteins and chemotherapy t‎ransport proteins, and also enables guided chemotherapy decision support at a personalized level based on the patient’s tumor tissue. GPS Cancer testing is conducted in the CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratories of NantOmics, and is a key enabler for the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 Network. In January 2016, Independence Blue Cross was the first commercial payer to make GPS Cancer testing available to its members.

NantHealth announced today that it has formed partnerships with Bank of America, Sanford Health and Phoenix Children’s Hospital, which become the nation’s first self-insured employers to cover next-generation whole genome sequencing for various cancers, helping their employees—and their families—to gain better insight and treatment strategies in optimizing cancer therapy.

Bank of America is one of the nation’s largest self-insured employers. Sanford Health is one of the largest health system in the country and the largest employer in the Dakotas. Phoenix Children’s Hospital provides the most comprehensive pediatric care in‎ the state.

In addition, Sanford Health Plan, an NCQA-accredited regional health plan in the Dakotas, joins Independence Blue Cross, a leading health insurer in Philadelphia region, making two premier regional plans among the first to offer coverage for GPS Cancer. 

These organizations join many other leaders across the health care community including community and academic oncologists, pharma, researchers, health plan payers and government institutions in supporting Cancer Breakthroughs 2020, a cancer collaborative also founded by Patrick Soon-Shiong, MD seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients.

“Bank of America provides coverage for about 500,000 employees and their families and for the past five years has worked closely with NantHealth to explore innovative methods for improving health & wellness for their associates,” said Jim Huffman, senior vice president, head of US Health and Wellness Benefits, Bank of America. “We are doing our part to address an issue that affects the lives of our employees, our customers and clients, and the people in the communities we serve around the world. We are committed to providing the most advanced cancer care to our employees and the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 initiative with its national footprint of oncologists practicing cutting edge medicine is a valuable resource we will now be able to offer to our 500,000 beneficiaries.”

“To that end, I am proud to say that Bank of America is one of the first large, self-insured employers to partner with Dr. Soon-Shiong ‎and NantHealth to adopt GPS Cancer as the most comprehensive test to help inform the oncologists taking care of its employees and families diagnosed with cancer,” continued Huffman. “We believe this test provides an opportunity for our associates to address the question many patients may ask of their prescribing clinician: 'Doctor, what further information do you have from my tissue samples that will provide more information about the probabilities of effectiveness of the treatment being prescribed before I begin my therapy?'”

“At Sanford Health, we are dedicated to offering our employees affordable and accessible high-quality care. Not only is GPS Cancer testing a novelty approach to cancer care, but it offers our employees – and their families – what we believe to be the best coverage for receiving improved cancer treatment options,” said Richard Adcock, executive vice president of Sanford Health. “As one of the founding members of the National Immunotherapy Coalition and Pediatrics Consortium, we are committed to the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program and its initiatives to win the war on cancer.” 

“As a hospital dedicated to providing the most advanced care, it only makes sense that we would cover the innovative GPS Cancer testing for our employees and their families under our insurance plan,” said Robert Meyer, president and CEO, Phoenix Children’s Hospital. “We understand the power of personalized medicine and want to provide it to our patients and our employees.”

GPS Cancer, available today through NantHealth, integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics, providing oncologists with a comprehensive molecular profile of a patient’s cancer to inform personalized treatment strategies. As a cornerstone of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program, GPS Cancer provides the critical insights based on the unique biology of a patient’s tumor—from the DNA to the RNA to the protein. The richness of this information helps doctors to build potentially more effective treatment plans based on current drugs and active clinical trials, while enabling cancer researchers to design new clinical trials that harness the potential of the immune system—the scientific foundation of Cancer Breakthroughs 2020.

"We are proud to have taken the lead to catalyze the coverage of GPS Cancer testing and change the course of cancer care by offering cancer patients the most comprehensive molecular insight about their cancer status and bring about the era of true personalized medicine," said Daniel J. Hilferty, president and CEO of Independence Blue Cross‎. "We are actively working with Blue Cross plans across the nation as they consider supporting this next generation of care, and are pleased that national self-insured employers such as Bank of America have s adopted this test for their employees."

“These partnerships with Bank of America, Sanford Health, Sanford Health Plan and Phoenix Children’s Hospital mark another significant milestone for Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 and build on the growing momentum in 2016 as we strive to win the cancer war—from the formation of the National Immunotherapy Coalition, to GPS Cancer coverage from Independence Blue Cross, and most recently, the creation of the National Pediatrics Consortium.” said Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, founder and CEO of NantHealth and founder of the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program. “We believe today’s announcement is extremely important by providing access to one of the nation’s largest self-insured employers and one of the nation’s largest health systems, and their employees and their families, to more effective and affordable cancer care. Through the GPS Cancer test offered by NantOmics through NantHealth, we can help accelerate efforts by arming oncologists with more information and bringing novel combinations of therapeutic agents to cancer patients, and I am truly excited about the leadership from Bank of America in this area.”

About Bank of America

Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,700 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning online banking with approximately 33 million active users and approximately 20 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas. It is one of the largest health systems in the nation with 43 hospitals and nearly 250 clinics in nine states and three countries. Sanford Health’s 27,000 employees, including 1,400 physicians, make it the largest employer in the Dakotas.

Part of Sanford Health’s integrated system, Sanford Health Plan is a non-profit health insurance company spanning multiple levels of care fro individuals, families, groups and businesses. Sanford Health Plan’s commercial HMO has received Commendable Accreditation fro the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA).

About Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Phoenix Children's Hospital has provided hope, healing, and the best healthcare for children since it was born in 1983, and has grown to become one of the largest children’s hospitals in the country. With a Medical Staff of nearly 1,000 pediatric specialists, Phoenix Children’s provides inpatient, outpatient, trauma and emergency care across more than 70 pediatric subspecialties, the most comprehensive pediatric care available in the state. The Hospital’s six Centers of Excellence have grown in size and expertise to place them on par with some of the most prestigious of their kind in the US.

About NantHealth

NantHealth, a member of the NantWorks ecosystem of companies, is a next-generation, evidence-based, personalized healthcare company enabling improved patient outcomes and more effective treatment decisions for critical illnesses. NantHealth‘s unique systems-based approach to personalized healthcare applies novel diagnostics tailored to the specific molecular profiles of patient tissues and integrates this molecular data in a clinical setting with large-scale, real-time biometric signal and phenotypic data to track patient outcomes and deliver precision medicine. For nearly a decade, NantHealth has developed an adaptive learning system, CLINICS, which includes its unique software, middleware and hardware systems infrastructure that collects, indexes, analyzes and interprets billions of molecular, clinical, operational and financial data points derived from novel and traditional sources, continuously improves decision-making and further optimizes our clinical pathways and decision algorithms over time.

About GPS Cancer 

GPS Cancer™ is a comprehensive test available by NantOmics through NantHealth. GPS Cancer integrates whole genome (DNA) sequencing, whole transcriptome (RNA) sequencing, and quantitative proteomics through mass spectrometry, providing oncologists with a comprehensive molecular profile of a patient’s cancer to inform personalized treatment strategies. GPS Cancer testing is conducted in the CLIA-certified, CAP-accredited laboratories of NantOmics, and is a key enabler for the Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 program, one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiatives seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients.

GPS Cancer enables detection of standard chemotherapy resistance proteins and chemotherapy t‎ransport proteins, and enables guided chemotherapy decision support at a personalized level based on the patient’s tumor tissue. GPS Cancer enables protein detection from paraffin embedded tumor tissue ("liquid tissue") at an extremely low level of detection (atomols per microgram of tissue) and thereby enables personalized GPS guided therapy for treatment decisions involving chemotherapy, monoclonal antibody therapy, hormonal therapy and small molecule targeted therapy. For more information, see www.GPSCancer.com and www.Nantomics.com.

About Cancer Breakthroughs 2020

The Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 Program is one of the most comprehensive cancer collaborative initiative launched to date, seeking to accelerate the potential of combination immunotherapy as the next generation standard of care in cancer patients. This initiative aims to explore a new paradigm in cancer care by initiating randomized Phase II trials in patients at all stages of disease in 20 tumor types in 20,000 patients within the next 36 months. These findings will inform Phase III trials and the aspirational Breakthroughs to develop an effective vaccine-based immunotherapy to combat cancer by 2020. For more information, please visit www.CancerBreakthroughs.com and follow Cancer Breakthroughs 2020 on Twitter