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MolecularMD Licenses DDR2 Markers for Assay Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – MolecularMD today announced a licensing deal covering DDR2 mutations for lung cancer.

The Portland, Ore.-based company has obtained the rights to commercialize IP around the mutations for diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive uses. The IP is jointly owned by the Broad Institute and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

DDR2, short for discoidin domain receptor 2, is a membrane receptor tyrosine kinase involved in cell adhesion, proliferation, and migration. In xenograft models DDR2-mutant tumors have regressed after treatment with the tyrosine kinase inhibitor dasatinib. MolecularMD is developing DDR2 diagnostic assays, including assays using next-generation sequencing, for clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of targeted therapies and DDR2 clinical utility, it said.

The company will also support commercialization of DDR2 technology by sublicensing it to clinical reference laboratories and diagnostic assay developers and manufacturers.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

"DDR2 is potentially the first actionable biomarker available for [squamous cell carcinoma] patients, whose treatment options are currently limited to chemotherapy," MolecularMD Director of Licensing Greg Cox said in a statement.

The deal is the third in 2013 announced by the company in which it has licensed biomarkers tied to cancer. In May, it obtained the rights to commercialize IP around fibroblast growth factor receptor 2-activating mutations, and in January it licensed the LKB1 biomarker for diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive use.