Shares of the Cambridge biotechnology company Foundation Medicine Inc. rose more than 11 percent following news that a Michigan insurer would cover the firm's genetic tests. Priority Health on Thursday became the first health plan in the country to agree to pay for two genetic tests Foundation Medicine offers for cancer patients.
The products are FoundationOne, a $5,800 test for solid tumors, and FoundationOne Heme, a $7,200 test for blood cancers, sarcomas, and pediatric cancers. So far, insurers have made case-by-ca se decisions about whether to pay, reimbursing, on average, $3,600. "This formalizes an agreement with a payer," said Dr. Michael Pellini, chief executive of Foundation Medicine. "Every little step helps. It's just a step forward for us."
Foundation Medicine, which went public in 2013, is seeing brisk growth. It expects to more than double the number of tests it conducts this year
. The stock gained $2.33, closing Friday at $22.93 on the Nasdaq market.