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Signal Genetics, MD Anderson Ink Sponsored Research Agreement

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Molecular diagnostics firm Signal Genetics and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center have announced an agreement to evaluate the clinical utility of Signal's MyPRS test for symptomatic multiple myeloma risk.

The microarray-based MyPRS test identifies patients with asymptomatic monoclonal gammopathies, including smoldering multiple myeloma and MGUS, with a high or low risk for rapid progression to symptomatic multiple myeloma.

Under the terms of the agreement, the partners will conduct a prospective 200-patient study led by MD Anderson researchers Elisabet Manasanch, Jatin Shah, Donna Weber, and Robert Orlowski. Signal will perform MyPRS testing on patient samples. The partners will also collect next-generation sequencing data to find new genetic information that could be used to characterize patients within the constellation of diseases. Patient enrollment has opened and work will begin this month, the partners said in a statement.

Financial and other details of the agreement were not disclosed.

"Stratifying patients into risk categories is a crucial step in determining the proper course of treatment, and MyPRS has the ability to provide physicians with this vital information," Signal Genetics President and CEO Samuel Riccitelli said in a statement. "We believe this study will provide additional support for the clinical utility of our assay."

The deal follows a similar arrangement Signal made with Moffitt Cancer Center in September 2015. In February 2015, the US Food and Drug Administration granted Signal conditional approval to use the MyPRS test as early entry criteria for a clinical trial to treat high-risk multiple myeloma. 

The Carlsbad, California-based firm also has a Little Rock, Arkansas-based CAP-accredited laboratory.