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Qiagen Exclusively Licenses AR-V7 Detection Method From Johns Hopkins

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Qiagen said Friday after the close of the market that it has acquired an exclusive worldwide license from Johns Hopkins University for detection of the AR-V7 biomarker in all sample and cell types using nucleic acid tests such as PCR or next-generation sequencing.

As a result, Qiagen will commercialize its research-use-only AdnaTest Prostate Cancer Panel AR-V7 to detect the androgen receptor splice variant 7 from liquid biopsies to investigate resistance to potential drugs for advanced prostate cancer.

JHU researchers have used AdnaTest technology in studies to evaluate the expression of AR-V7 mRNA in prostate cancer patients. In 2014, JHU researchers published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine highlighting the role of AR-V7 variants in understanding response in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer. In that study, the scientists used AdnaTest workflows to isolate and enrich the AR-V7 marker from circulating tumor cells in blood samples, and RT-PCR to detect the marker.

Qiagen acquired the AdnaTest technology from AdnaGen in 2015 for detecting RNA expression from circulating tumor cells in blood samples. Qiagen said it is working with several pharmaceutical companies to field-test the assay for clinical research in prostate cancer.

One of those pharmaceutical collaborators was Tokai Pharmaceuticals, which was working with Qiagen to develop and commercialize a companion diagnostic for galeterone, Tokai's late-stage investigational drug for castration-resistant prostate cancer. However, that collaboration has been discontinued, a Qiagen spokesperson said.