NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Singulex today said it will receive a $900,000 Phase I/II Fast Track Small Business Innovation Research contract from the National Cancer Institute to create biomarker assays to predict patient response and efficacy of cancer drugs in development.
The company has also penned a collaboration with Washington University’s School of Medicine to “increase the clinical utility” of validated and newly discovered biomarkers in human disease.
As part of the SBIR contract, Singulex will collaborate with Wash U and St. Louis-based Sigma-Aldrich. The company will use Wash U-held biological samples and optimized reagents from Sigma-Aldrich to develop assays to detect expression-level changes for a panel of proteins associated with cancer growth.
“The goal of these assays is to measure the efficacy of potential anticancer drugs earlier in the developmental process and provide insight to patients' response to new candidate therapeutic agents,” Singulex, also based in St. Louis, said in the statement.
"Biomarkers indicative of disease states are increasingly crucial to translating basic science breakthroughs into better patient outcomes," Singulex CEO Philippe Goix said in the statement. He said that the company's flagship Erenna biomarker-detection platform can measure small changes of biomarkers "from healthy to disease states to provide answers not only about disease progression but also therapeutic efficacy of drugs in development."
As part of the first alliance, scientists at Wash U’s School of Medicine will gain access to the Erenna technology to help develop assays for validated and putative biomarkers in diseases such as breast cancer, Alzheimer's disease, diabetes, and stroke.
An Erenna system has been installed in the proteomics core facility at Washington University's Siteman Cancer Center.
"Together with Singulex, we want to determine whether the Erenna system can assess the effectiveness of novel anti-cancer drugs early in their development and predict patients' responses to these therapies,” Samuel Stanley, vice chancellor of research at Wash U, said in a statement.