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Biodesix

Movers & Shakers: Jan 7, 2011

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

The funding will go toward ongoing commercialization efforts for VeriStrat, the company's protein biomarker-based companion diagnostic for non-small cell lung cancer.

The money will go toward ongoing commercialization of VeriStrat, a serum proteomic-based test to help guide treatment of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.

A number of prominent proteomics-based diagnostics developers were recipients of the grant and tax credit awards, which are being provided by the IRS through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act's Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project Program.

NCI has outlined changes to its IP policies for collaborative research agreements that would essentially provide industry collaborators with first-option commercial licensing rights for IP arising from studies that make use of pharma companies' proprietary drugs, or samples from patients treated with those drugs.

Included are a method for predicting peptide detection via mass spectrometry; a method for purifying proteins; and a method of biomarker analysis.

A company official said that VeriStrat sales are growing at a double-digit pace and that Biodesix is also looking to apply the test to diseases beyond lung cancer.

In addition to several PGx studies presented at the conference, the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer and the European Thoracic Oncology Platform's European EGFR Workshop Group proposed recommendations on EGFR mutation testing in NSCLC when patients are treated with AstraZeneca's Iressa.

At the European Lung Cancer Conference last week in Geneva, Biodesix presented data from a multi-center Phase III study that showed VeriStrat was able to identify NSCLC patients most likely to have a "significant survival benefit" from treatment with Tarceva.

The results, presented today at the Second European Lung Cancer Conference, indicate that the MALDI-based test could differentiate which patients would benefit from erlotinib treatment and which wouldn't.

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The Washington Post reports that a Russian Academy of Sciences commission has led to the retraction of hundreds of scientific papers.

The Los Angeles Times' Daily Pilot reports the chief executive of Vantari Genetics has pleaded guilty in a kickback scheme.

News 4 Jax reports that a Florida bill to prevent life and long-term care insurers from using genetic information in their coverage decisions has easily passed one committee.

In Science this week: potentially pathogenic mutations found in hematopoietic stem cells from young healthy donors, and more.