What happened

Shares of Guardant Health (NASDAQ:GH) were jumping 10.8% higher as of 11:09 a.m. EST on Thursday. The company reported positive results from a study of its Guardant360 liquid biopsy after the market closed on Wednesday.

Guardant announced results from the Nile study that conducted a head-to-head comparison between Guardant360 and standard-of-care tissue testing in detecting key biomarkers in patients with first-line advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The data showed that Guardant360 detected the genomic biomarkers using blood biopsy at a similar rate as tissue-based testing. 

Scientist holding test tube with blood in it with an image of a DNA helix to the side

Image source: Getty Images.

So what

The results from the Nile study were important for Guardant Health because they support the use of its Guardant360 liquid biopsy as the first test for patients with NSCLC. The liquid biopsy can be used to identify the specific genetic targets for lung cancer drugs.

Guardant360 actually identified guideline-recommended biomarkers in 77 patients, while tissue testing identified those biomarkers in 60 patients. In every patient for whom Guardant360 identified a genetic target for an FDA-approved drug, tissue testing detected the same target.

One key advantage of Guardant360 was its faster turnaround time. The median time to get results using Guardant360 was nine days compared to 15 days for tissue testing.

MD Anderson Cancer Center's Vassiliki Papadimitrakopoulou was the senior author on the Nile study. She stated that the results showed "a compelling option to use liquid first ahead of tissue for molecular testing in newly diagnosed advanced NSCLC."

Check out the latest Guardant earnings call transcript.

Now what

You can bet that Guardant Health will begin playing up the Nile study results as much as possible. The company's CEO, Helmy Eltoukhy, said that Guardant thinks the new data "will further accelerate adoption of Guardant360." He added that the latest data, along with other recent independent investigations, "solidifies the case for using blood first for treatment selection."

Liquid biopsy has the potential to become a massive market over time. Guardant Health's positive news for Guardant360 helps cement the company's position as a leader in this fast-growing new field.