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IntegraGen Partners With FIRE-3 Researchers to Study microRNA Cancer Biomarker

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — IntegraGen announced today that it is collaborating with investigators from the FIRE-3 clinical trial to study the use of a microRNA biomarker to predict clinical outcomes in metastatic colorectal cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR therapies.

The FIRE-3 study is a Phase III trial comparing FOLFIRI — Camptosar (irinotecan) with fluorouracil and folinic acid — in combination with either Erbitux (cetuximab) or Avastin (bevacizumab) as a first-line therapy in patients with KRAS exon 2 wild-type stage IV colorectal cancer.

Through the collaboration, IntegraGen and the study investigators will test whether the expression levels of hsa-miR-31-3p in primary tumors can help determine how patients respond to the two treatment regimens.

About a year ago, Evry, France-based IntegraGen inked a similar deal to study the biomarker potential of hsa-miR-31-3p with researchers running a trial comparing other anti-EGFR therapy combinations in metastatic colorectal cancer patients.

The latest partnership "will allow us to further confirm that the miR-31-3p biomarker is predictive of effects of anti-EGFR therapy in wild-type KRAS patients with metastatic colorectal cancer," Francois Liebaert, IntegraGen's vice president of R&D and medical affairs, said in a statement.

"This collaboration with IntegraGen will permit us to further understand the differences in clinical outcomes we have reported for patients enrolled in the FIRE-3 study," Volker Heinemann, a researcher at the University Hospital Grosshadern and the trial's principal investigator, added in the statement.