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Qiagen and Lilly Collaborate to Co-Develop Companion Diagnostics for Simultaneous Analysis of DNA and RNA Biomarkers in Common Cancers

Qiagen N.V. (NASDAQ: QGEN; Frankfurt Prime Standard: QIA) recently announced a collaboration with Eli Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY) to co-develop universal and modular assay panels for the simultaneous analysis of DNA and RNA biomarkers targeting multiple cellular pathways involved in common cancer types. The agreement includes the development of tests that will be based on Qiagen’s multi-modal, multi-analyte Modaplex analysis platform, which can process multiple sample types and biomarkers in a single test.

Global Genomics Group (G3) to Collaborate with Metabolon on Pan-Omic GLOBAL Study to Discover Cardiovascular Disease Biomarkers and Drug Targets

Global Genomics Group (G3) and Metabolon recently announced that they have entered into a collaboration agreement to investigate biological networks and pathways in order to discover novel biomarkers and pharmaceutical targets for cardiovascular diseases. Under the terms of the agreement, Metabolon will analyze the biochemicals for the GLOBAL (Genetic LOci and Burden of Atherosclerotic Lesions) study. GLOBAL is the largest pan-omic study combining genomics, epigenomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, lipidomics and lipoprotein proteomics with coronary computed tomographic (CT) angiography, an advanced imaging technology for phenotyping, which allows the precise disease classification in patients.

Cardiac Biomarker ST2 Proves Far Superior To Galectin-3 In A Head-to-Head Study

Critical Diagnostics recently announced that the study, “Head-to-head comparison of two myocardial fibrosis biomarkers for long-term heart failure risk stratification: ST2 vs. Galectin-3”, recently published online in JACC (the Journal of the American College of Cardiology) comparing the company’s novel cardiac biomarker ST2 to Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a biomarker from BG Medicine (NASDAQ: BGMD), found ST2 to be superior.

Evidence-Guided Molecular Profiling Offers New Hope for Oncologists Managing Difficult-to-Treat Cancers

Caris Life Sciences recently announced data from two studies presented at the 2013 European Cancer Congress (ECC 2013), which demonstrate the potential of evidence-guided molecular profiling to improve the treatment of patients with hard-to-treat cancers, including cancers of unknown primary (CUP) origins as well as rare tumors and cancers that have been refractory to treatment.

Quintiles Asks, ‘Why Not Test for Many Biomarkers at Once?’ When Evaluating Therapies for Cancer Patients

Calling the concept “pre-profiling,” Quintiles (Research Triangle Park, NC) is collaborating with US Oncology Research (the research arm of McKesson Specialty Health) to test the value of running multiple biomarker tests at once for cancer patients—in this case those with metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). Either for initial therapy, or as a step to selecting candidates for clinical trials, the current practice is to look for genomic data that is relevant to one type of therapy; if the suitable genomic variant is found, the clinician then knows that the patient is a good trial candidate, or that the patient could benefit from a specific therapy. Quintiles is suggesting to look at many variants or makers initially and then make treatment or trial recruitment decisions.

In practice, says Dr. Jeffrey Spaeder, CMO at Quintiles, a biopsy would be retrieved from the patient, DNA and other genomic information sequenced, abnormalities identified, and bioinformatics analysis conducted, then returning the results back to the clinician. “All these steps sound intuitively straightforward, but they involve complex handoffs of information and clinical decisions,” he says. Understanding what the clinician can do with the data needs to be determined; what choices the patient might have for one therapy or another; and in the final analysis, whether better outcomes could be achieved remain to be evaluated. Eventually, the multiple-biomarker process could become a step in the clinical pathways that various organizations have developed for treatment of cancers. “Early indications from this study suggest that we can provide physicians and patients with early visibility on potentially clinically actionable biomarkers within a rapid two-week timeframe. This level and speed of analysis has promise to save valuable time in administering potentially life-saving therapies to patients, and reduce the development times of precision medicines.”

The biomarker field, while demonstrating exciting new potential and spurring the evolution of personalized (or “precision”) medicine, is fraught with operational difficulties. Insurers are selective about what biomarker tests they are willing to pay for; practitioners have varying enthusiasm for the tests, and the clarity around which tests lead to beneficial outcomes are not clear. Even so, this study could be one of a series of medical innovations to make biomarkers a standard element of cancer therapy.

Source: Pharmaceutical Commerce