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Biomarker Brief: July 18, 2011

Biomarker Brief is an occasionally recurring series highlighting particularly interesting articles on biomarkers and/or personalized medicine.

Plasma Biomarkers in Liver Cancer Refine Stratification of Patient Risk

According to an Internal Medicine News report, data presented at the 2011 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium at the American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting on gastrointestinal cancers in January sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology suggests that a simple blood test may improve on systems conventionally used to estimate prognosis in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma.

Neogenix Oncology to Present Data on the Detection of Colorectal and Pancreatic Cancer at ASCO’s 2010 Annual Meeting on Molecular Makers in Cancer

Neogenix Oncology, Inc. announced today that it will present data from its new serum biomarker ELISA utilizing its NPC-1C antibody for patients with colorectal and pancreatic cancers. Results from the study will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO)-NCI-EORTC Annual Meeting on Molecular Makers in Cancer, to be held in Hollywood, Florida from October 18-20, 2010.

Aeterna Zentaris Announces Collaboration with Almac to Develop Therapy and Companion Diagnostic in Cancer

Aeterna Zentaris Inc., a late-stage drug development company specialized in oncology and endocrine therapy, today announced a collaborative study with Almac’s Diagnostics division for the Company’s doxorubicin luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) targeted conjugate compound, AEZS-108, aimed at determining LHRH receptor expression through the development of a companion diagnostic tool. Selection for treatment with AEZS-108 is determined on the basis of LHRH receptor expression, currently measured immunohistochemically. In humans, LHRH receptors are expressed in ovarian, endometrial, breast, bladder, prostate and pancreatic tumors. AEZS-108 is currently in Phase 2 trials for advanced LHRH receptor positive ovarian and endometrial cancer.

Quintiles Announces Suite of PI3K Biomarker Assays to Advance Oncology Therapies Targeting this Cancer Pathway

Quintiles today announced a comprehensive suite of biomarker assays to help bio pharmaceutical companies investigate the phosphoinositide 3-kinases (PI3K) cancer survival pathway, the focus of numerous anti-cancer therapies under development. Understanding the PI3K pathway is essential in developing new medicines to inhibit or block this pathway, thereby cutting off a metabolic function needed for certain cancers to survive.