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MDx/CDx Focus: Precision's ChemoFx Aids Development of Breast Cancer Response Predictors; Biocartis Launches DMAT


Precision Therapeutics Assesses Multi-Gene Predictors of Breast Cancer Chemo Response

Data from two studies evaluating cell lines suggest that Precision Therapeutics' ChemoFx may be a useful tool for assessing the ability of gene signatures to predict cancer patients' response to commonly prescribed neoadjuvant chemotherapy regimens.

The company this week reported that an independent validation of the US Oncology 02-103 trial by researchers from MD Anderson Cancer Center showed that a multi-gene predictor model could gauge which patients would experience a complete response and which patients would have residual disease after neoadjuvant treatment with a number of chemotherapy agents.

"The [multi-gene predictor] was developed from a panel of 42 breast cancer cell lines treated with the four-drug combination in vitro and was evaluated for predictive ability on patient samples obtained during a prospective neoadjuvant clinical trial," the company said in a statement.

In another trial, researchers from Precision, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Yale Cancer Center, and the University of Virginia used Precision's ChemoFx chemoresponse test to evaluate the effectiveness multi-gene predictors. The researchers first used ChemoFx on 42 breast cancer cell lines after treatment with two standard chemotherapy combination regimens. Then, they developed the multi-gene predictors using two different cell line sets and two independent prediction methods.

"The evaluation yielded high prediction performances by these [multi-gene predictors], which were also able to predict patient clinical outcomes for estrogen-receptor-negative patients, which has proven difficult to date," Precision said in a statement. "Results demonstrate the potential for using the ChemoFx test as a model system in creating [multi-gene predictors] for stratifying patients' therapeutic responses."

ChemoFx assesses whether a patients' tumor will respond to standard chemotherapies. According to the company, it receives specimens from 271 medical institutions for analysis by ChemoFx, and to date, these institutions have collectively submitted 80,000 specimens from patients treated with 105 chemotherapy agents and combinations.

Biocartis Launches DMAT for Research Use

Biocartis this week launched a proteomic and nucleic acid detection platform, called the Dynamic Multi-Analyte Technology, or DMAT, intended to help researchers detect biomarkers and develop multiplex assays

The company said in a statement that the platform "will accelerate the conversion of biomarker discoveries into clinical practice," and enable "rapid validation" of new biomarkers. Additionally, Biocartis highlighted that the research-use-only DMAT complements protein biomarker discovery and next-generation sequencing.

DMAT, based on semi-conductor and microfluidics technologies, requires less hands-on time than other platforms, making it faster and more cost-effective than other systems, the company said. It can simultaneously measure more than 2,000 analytes "without deterioration in performance," Biocartis claimed.

In launching DMAT, Biocartis said it will expand its sales force and target researchers doing preclinical and clinical research, as well as preclinical development.

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