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Human Longevity, Merck KGaA Form Cancer Biomarker Partnership

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Human Longevity (HLI) announced today that it has partnered with Germany's Merck KGaA to identify treatment-response biomarker signatures in patients with advanced melanoma.

In a pilot project, the companies will look for these biomarkers in patients with locally advanced or metastatic NRAS-mutated cutaneous melanoma who preferentially respond to Merck's MEK1/2 inhibitor pimasertib. As part of the effort, HLI said it will generate genomic sequencing data from clinical trial participants' tumors and germline DNA, then use its machine learning and analytical technologies to analyze the data in the context of survival and other clinical data.

Additional terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"Our agreement with Merck KGaA …  will enable us to work together to discover novel insights that improve patient survival in melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," HLI CEO Cindy Collins said in a statement.