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DNA Repair Licenses Predictive Breast Cancer Therapy Test from Helsinki Hospital

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The DNA Repair Company has licensed the exclusive North American rights to a test from Helsinki University Central Hospital that predicts how women with breast cancer will respond to a common chemotherapy drug.
The Boston-based company acquired the rights to the test through an agreement with Licentia, a Finnish technology transfer company. DNAR plans to use a variant of the NQO1 enzyme to create personalized medicine tests.
The NQO1 enzyme was shown in a Helsinki University study to protect cells against oxidative stress, the company said, and patients having one variant of the protein, NQO1*2, had worse survival chances when they were treated with an anthracycline-based chemotherapy compared with an alternative therapy.
Women in the study who possessed a double copy of the NQO1*2 variant in their genome had only a 17 percent survival rate while those with only a single copy or without the variant had a survival rate of 75 percent.
This was the only study so far to discover this effect, the company said, and independent studies must be conducted in order to develop a test.
DNAR CEO Daniel Paterson said the findings about the NQO1*2 variant are “highly significant and hold important promise for predicting clinical outcomes for cancer patients.”
Financial terms of the agreement were not released.