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Without Roche, Epigenomics Completes Validation Study for Prostate Cancer Dx

NEW YORK, Jan. 4 (GenomeWeb News) - Epigenomics will develop a DNA methylation test for prostate cancer on its own after erstwhile partner Roche Diagnostics decided to back out of their alliance, the company said today.


Epigenomics has recently completed a successful a validation study for the test, the company said.


Epigenomics and Roche signed a three-year agreement in 2003 to develop molecular diagnostic and pharmacogenomic assays for colon, breast, and prostate cancer, as well as tests to predict response to anti-cancer drugs.


Berlin-based Epigenomics today said that Roche had discontinued the prostate cancer alliance and decided not to maintain its option for an exclusive license. The Swiss diagnostics giant will continue collaborating with Epigenomics for the remaining indications, according to an Epigenomics official.


The prostate cancer test uses DNA methylation markers to determine cancer aggressiveness, according to Epigenomics. The company said it had completed a study involving paraffin-embedded samples from 605 patients and that it had validated three of its biomarkers. If completed, such a test would be useful in helping physicians prescribe treatment to patients, Epigenomics said.

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