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New Cancer CDx Firm Created from Qiagen Business

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – HalioDx today announced its inception following a buyout by Qiagen Marseille's former executive management team. 

The company will focus on the immuno-oncology diagnostics space and develop assays for predicting patient response to several immuno-oncology solid tumor treatments.  

Along with Qiagen Marseille's managers, all of its 75 employees have transferred to HalioDx, a spokesperson for HalioDx told GenomeWeb. The firm's CEO is Vincent Fert.  

Qiagen Marseille was formed following Qiagen's acquisition of Ipsogen in 2011. According to the HalioDx spokesperson, Qiagen Marseille still exists but its operations comprise solely its intellectual property and cash flow. 

HalioDx has raised €7.5 million ($8.2 million) from its founders and venture funds MI Care, Sham Innovation Santé, and Sofipaca. Qiagen is partnering with HalioDx, based in Marseille, France, on manufacturing and R&D contracts, HalioDx said, adding that it will leverage the relationship, as well as future deals, to develop proprietary immuno-oncology diagnostics for classifying tumors and guiding treatment decisions. 

The company plans to collaborate with biopharma firms to develop and register immune companion diagnostics based on its portfolio of licenses, and to develop standalone assays based on technology developed at INSERM, AP-HP, and Paris-Descartes University. 

The technology was developed by Jérôme Galon, a research director at INSERM and a co-founder of HalioDx and president of the company's scientific board. It comprises several immune gene expression signatures and Immunoscore, which combines immunohistochemistry biomarkers and digital pathology-based scoring. 

Immunoscore is currently being validated in an international study, and HalioDx said that it plans to obtain CE marking for the technology in colon cancer within 18 months. 

"Considering the strength and scientific value of our worldwide license portfolio, and the need for powerful prognostic and predictive biomarkers in immuno-oncology, we are confident we will rapidly bring the Immunoscore into routine clinical practice for colon cancer, and validate innovative predictive immune companion diagnostics for solid tumors," Fert said in a statement. 

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