Inform Genomics and Tesaro have struck an agreement in which drug firm Tesaro will use the test developer's bioinformatics and genomics platforms to gauge the risk of nausea and vomiting in cancer patients receiving chemotherapy regimens and standard treatments to manage the side effect.
Tesaro is currently investigating oral and IV formulations of a drug called rolapitant to treat chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting. Rolapitant, in Phase III development, is a neurokinin-1 receptor antagonist that is thought to work by blocking activation of the NK-1 receptors associated with chemotherapy-induced vomiting and nausea.
By using Inform Genomics' test, Tesaro is hoping to identify patients at risk of nausea and vomiting when treated with chemotherapeutics and who continue to experience the side effect when given standard anti-vomiting treatments. In studies, Tesaro will have to study whether patients with a higher likelihood of experiencing this adverse event from standard treatments may benefit more from the newer rolapitant.
Inform Genomics recently completed a 384-patient study involving its OnPart platform at The West Clinic in Memphis, Tenn. The trial involved patients with breast, colorectal, lung, and ovarian cancer who were treated with standard chemotherapy regimens – dose-dense doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide, and paclitaxel for breast cancer; 5-fluoururacil and oxaliplatin based regimens for colorectal cancer; and carboplatin plus paclitaxel-based regimens for lung and ovarian cancer.
Researchers followed patients through at least three cycles of chemotherapy and recorded their symptoms. They also analyzed patients for SNPs that according to the literature are associated with chemotherapy-induced adverse reactions.
The test is not yet commercially available, but Inform Genomics is developing OnPart as a tool that oncologists can use to assess patients' genomic risk for six common chemotherapy-related side-effects, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting, oral mucositis, fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, and peripheral neuropathy. "Using algorithms based on Bayesian methodological programming, predictive SNP networks were discovered for each of six chemotherapy-induced side effects with accuracies greater than 90 percent," Inform Genomics said in a statement.
The test methodology also factors in patients' concerns for specific side effects using a copyrighted questionnaire.