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Agendia Announces New Agreement with Daiichi Sankyo to Support Oncology Drug Development

Agendia recently announced a new agreement with Daiichi Sankyo regarding oncology drug development and personalized medicine. The agreement calls for Agendia’s oncology biomarker technology to be used in the assessment of novel pharmaceuticals now being researched in certain Daiichi Sankyo clinical trials.

Agendia Announces New Agreement with Daiichi Sankyo to Support Oncology Drug Development

Agendia recently announced a new agreement with Daiichi Sankyo regarding oncology drug development and personalized medicine. The agreement calls for Agendia’s oncology biomarker technology to be used in the assessment of novel pharmaceuticals now being researched in certain Daiichi Sankyo clinical trials.

Researchers Identify Splice Variant of Breast Cancer Gene that Can Mask Risk of Recurrence

Agendia, a leader in molecular cancer diagnostics, recently announced that researchers have identified a subset of breast cancer patients whose standard biomarker tests may incorrectly classify patients as low risk and benefitting from endocrine therapy. A study published last month in Breast Cancer Research and Treatment concluded that this subset of breast cancer patients may actually be at “high risk” of disease progression and benefit more from chemotherapy than endocrine therapy.

The researchers found that 2 percent of breast cancer patients tested, who were identified as estrogen receptor positive (ER+) and therefore potential candidates to benefit from endocrine therapy, actually had a variant of the estrogen receptor called “delta Exon 7 deletion”. This variant is missed by standard receptor testing and reported as receptor positive, when in fact the variant protein inhibits the normal estrogen signal in the cell that may prevent the patient from benefitting from routine endocrine therapy. Moreover these patients have a genomic profile of their tumor that suggests that 95% of these are “at high recurrence risk and would likely benefit from adjuvant chemotherapy,” the researchers concluded.

The researchers identified the importance of the delta Exon 7 deletion through a test called BluePrint®, which was developed by Agendia. BluePrint is one part of a suite of related breast cancer tests called Symphony, which provides a complete view of a patient’s prognosis and help guide their individual treatment decisions through genomic profiling.

“The researchers identified the presence of the Exon 7 variant of the estrogen receptor while trying to determine why some breast cancer patients who tested ER+ in the classical test for receptor status turned out to be of the ‘basal-like’ subtype by the BluePrint assay, which indicates a lack of a functional estrogen pathway, noted Stephanie R. Akbari, M.D., Medical Director of the Reinsch Pierce Family Center for Breast Health at Virginia Hospital Center, a member of the research team. Medical experts have long established that ER+ tumors typically benefit from hormonal therapies, but we also know that not all patients with ER+ tumors benefit from this therapy. “This finding may help identify those patients that are unlikely to benefit from hormonal therapy.”

Dr. Akbari said. “Our findings show that, as we discover the importance of splicing variants such as Exon7, additional molecular subtyping of a patient’s tumor is necessary to reach a more accurate understanding of the disease.”

Agendia CEO David Macdonald said, “Agendia’s Symphony is the only commercially available test suite that provides molecular subtyping and can identify the growing body of important genetic variants such as Exon 7. This research underscores Agendia’s commitment to ongoing discovery and collaboration between industry and physician-directed research in bringing scientific advances into clinical practice.”

Study: Estrogen receptor splice variants as a potential source of false-positive estrogen receptor status in breast cancer diagnostics [Breast Cancer Research and Treatment]

Source: Agendia

Agendia Announces Discovery of a Gene Signature that Predicts Response to a Broad Range of Cancer Drugs

The gene signature, discovered in collaboration with scientists from the Netherlands Cancer Institute, identifies a process that resembles the process of “Epithelial to Mesenchymal Transition” (EMT) as a major determinant of response to both targeted cancer therapeutics and chemotherapeutics in a broad range of cancer types.

“We need to understand the mechanisms of drug resistance if we want to prevent resistance from occurring. Moreover, we have shown that blocking the EMT process with selective drugs restores sensitivity to the original drug, which suggests a way to treat patients that have undergone this type of drug resistance,” says Rene Bernards, senior author of the study and Chief Scientific Officer at Agendia. The company is in discussions with several pharmaceutical companies to collaborate on the use of this gene signature in clinical studies.

“Our ongoing collaboration with the Netherlands Cancer Institute contributes significantly to Agendia’s high-value offering of pharma services and new diagnostic tests,” said David Macdonald, CEO of Agendia. “Agendia is committed to improving the effectiveness of cancer therapies by providing valuable biomarker tools to pharmaceutical companies and physicians.”

Study: MED12 Controls the Response to Multiple Cancer Drugs through Regulation of TGF-β Receptor Signaling

Source: PR Newswire

COLTHERES Consortium Identifies Molecular Signatures Leading to Personalized Therapies

COLTHERES (the Colon Therapy Research Consortium), a collaboration of EU-based clinical centers and translational researchers, has revealed in its first interim report key results that will enable a more personalized and effective approach to be taken in treatment of colon cancer using two novel drugs; the EGFR inhibitor Cetuximab and the BRaf inhibitor Vemurafinib.