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Insight Genetics Snags $1.5M NCI Award for NSCLC Assay

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — Insight Genetics said yesterday that it has received a new $1.5 million grant from the National Cancer Institute.

The Phase II Small Business Innovation Research grant from the National Cancer Institute will enable Nashville, Tenn.-based Insight to continue developing Insight ALK Resistance, a molecular diagnostic test to help clinicians monitor therapeutic resistance in non-small cell lung cancer patients.

Insight ALK Resistance is a customizable qPCR-based test that can detect all clinically identified resistance mutations in the ALK kinase domain or specific mutations, providing results within 48 hours and with minimal tissue requirement. The assay can be used for treatment efficacy monitoring, clinical decision making for alternative treatments, clinical trial enrollment for next-generation ALK inhibitors, or investigational academic research, and is currently offered as a laboratory-developed test by Insight Molecular Labs, the CLIA-certified subsidiary of Insight Genetics.

Insight Genetics obtained an exclusive worldwide license from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in 2010 for the detection of ALK inhibitor resistance mutations.

The new award is a continuation of a Phase I SBIR grant awarded to Insight in 2011, and is the company's sixth overall contract and third consecutive Phase II contract from NCI’s Companion Diagnostics program. In August, Insight was awarded a $1.5 million Phase II SBIR contract from NCI to continue development of a diagnostic test aimed at non-small cell lung cancer.