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GeneCentric Licenses UNC Pancreatic Cancer Subtyping Tech

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) — GeneCentric said today that it has exclusively licensed a next-generation sequencing-based pancreatic cancer subtyping technology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

According to Research Triangle Park-based GeneCentric, the technology — called purity independent subtyping of tumors, or PurIST —  is based on set of patient-cell derived gene signatures for classifying four pancreatic subtypes. Earlier this year, the technology's developer published data in Clinical Cancer Research indicating that chemotherapeutic drug response differs among patients with different genomic/transcriptomic subtypes.

GeneCentric said it intends to develop the PurIST technology for the identification of responder populations to novel pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma therapeutics with its pharmaceutical partners and other collaborators.

Specific terms of the licensing deal were not disclosed.

"The license will expand our portfolio of high-resolution, genomic-defined cancer subtypes that have the potential to function as universal biomarkers for drug response," GeneCentric Founder and CEO Myla Lai-Goldman said in a statement. "The subtyping platform has significant potential to guide the development and eventual clinical use of promising therapeutic agents in this disease."

Earlier this year, GeneCentric — which has been shifting away from diagnostics development to providing patient subtyping services — presented data showing that its Cancer Subtyping Platform could be used to define a 60-gene expression signature that distinguished four bladder cancer subtypes from each other. In 2017, the firm began working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to identify translational biomarkers for the pharma company's cancer immunotherapy Opdivo (nivolumab).

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