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Biodesix

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter
NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Biodesix today announced two partnerships to increase patient access to its VeriStrat molecular diagnostic test for non-small cell lung cancer.

In particular, the study indicates that the technology's limit of detection is not yet sufficient to detect key low-abundance proteins and that it suffers from reproducibility issues that, while ultimately resolvable, could present significant practical obstacles in a clinical environment.

The funds will go toward commercialization of its VeriStrat test for non-small cell lung cancer and to support collaborations with biotechnology and pharmaceutical firms to develop companion diagnostics.

According to a document filed with the SEC, Biodesix has raised half of its goal of $20 million. Funds will be used to further commercialize its VeriStrat test.

EGFR has emerged as a primary area of interest in cancer research, with biopharmaceuticals like Imclone's Erbitux and Amgen's Vectibix targeting the protein, but its multiple isoforms have made it difficult to predict these drugs' effectiveness, said Yale professor Nita Maihle.

The patents cover the selection of non-small cell lung cancer patients, colorectal cancer patients, and head and neck cancer patients for treatment with drugs targeting the epidermal growth-factor receptor pathway.

Veristrat, a protein biomarker-based companion diagnostic for non-small cell lung cancer, launched commercially in May 2009.

The serum-based proteomics test is now available in all 50 states.

While the company continues clinical studies showing the utility of its proteomics-based VeriStrat test in predicting response to cancer therapies, it also is forging partnerships with pharma for use of the test.

Movers & Shakers: Jan 7, 2011

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Leroy Hood, Samuel Broder, Mark Velleca, Paul Beresford, Dino DiCamillo

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By studying koalas and a retrovirus that infects them, researchers may have uncovered a new sort of 'immune response' that occurs at the genomic level, Agence France Presse reports.

NPR reports that the first person in the US given a gene editing-based therapy for a genetic disorder is heading home.

In Science this week: ancient genomes reveal social inequality within individual households, new method for quantifying genetic variation in gene dosage, and more.