NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Amgen said today that it has partnered with Lab21 to launch a new genetic test for patients in the UK taking Amgen’s Vectibix (panitumumab) for advanced bowel cancer.
The screening test was developed by British molecular diagnostics firm DxS, which sells a range of cancer mutation diagnostic products.
Vectibix was launched in the UK earlier this year for patients with metastatic bowel cancer for whom standard chemotherapy has failed and who have a specific gene mutation, according to a statement from Amgen Limited UK. The firm said that during clinical studies the drug doubled median progression-free survival in patients with non-mutated, or wild type, Kirsten Rat Sarcoma 2 viral oncogene homologue compared with patients who received “best supportive care alone.”
According to Amgen, patients with metastatic bowel cancer will be tested for the wild type KRAS gene before being prescribed the drug.
It said that Vectibix approval marked the first time that the European Commission licensed a bowel cancer product with the stipulation that a predictive test should be carried out.
“This is a big step forward towards individualized care in bowel cancer,” said Charles Brigden, medical director of Amgen Limited, in a statement.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed.