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Caris, Threshold Pharmaceuticals to Develop Cancer Drug Response Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Caris Life Sciences and Threshold Pharmaceuticals announced today that they have partnered to develop a tissue-based assay to predict how pancreatic cancer patients will respond to Threshold’s investigational drug evofosfamide.

Evofosfamide is a hypoxia-activated prodrug of a DNA cross-linking agent that is preferentially activated under hypoxic tumor conditions. In late 2015, Threshold announced that the compound had failed to meet the primary endpoint of a Phase III study, but that it did improve overall survival in a subgroup of Japanese patients.
Under the terms of their agreement, the companies will use Caris' Adapt Biotargeting system — which uses libraries of synthetic molecules that bind to biological targets to help characterize complex biological systems — to develop a multiplexed diagnostic assay that can classify a patient's likely clinical outcome from using evofosfamide. They will also take advantage of tumor samples and outcomes data from the clinical trial.
Additional terms were not disclosed.
"Since it is well understood that patients exposed to the same chemotherapy often respond differently, we look forward to working with Caris and their innovative Adapt Biotargeting system to help physicians identify those patients most likely to benefit from evofosfamide," Threshold CEO Barry Selick said in a statement. "We remain optimistic about the potential role of evofosfamide for the treatment of cancer, and we continue to pursue discussions with Japanese regulatory authorities regarding potential registration pathways for evofosfamide, and other development opportunities with evofosfamide."