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20/20 GeneSystems Wins $750K SBIR Contract to Develop Kidney Cancer CDx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – 20/20 GeneSystems said on Monday it was awarded a $750,000 contract by the National Cancer Institute to develop a test for predicting which patients with advanced stage kidney cancer may benefit from anti-angiogenic therapy.

The cost-sharing Phase II Small Business Innovation and Research contract will be used by the Rockville, Md.-based firm to develop, optimize, and validate its test. Proof-of-concept development of the test was funded by a Phase I SBIR contract, as well as private funds.

20/20 GeneSystems said that there were an estimated 65,000 new cases of kidney cancer in the US last year. Advanced cases do not respond to chemotherapy or radiation treatment, and currently three types of treatments are used — immunotherapy, anti-angiogenic agents, and mTOR inhibitors. No treatment is effective in more than a fraction of patients, however, and choosing the right treatment for each patient is crucial.

20/20 GeneSystems uses layered immunohistochemistry technology for multiplex biomarker measurement in solid tumors.

"The 20/20 [GeneSystems] test would help guide treatment decisions and strategies so we can provide the best informed care to our patients," Sandy Srinivas, associate professor of oncology at the Stanford University School of Medicine, said in a statement. "There is a definite need for a companion diagnostic to predict response to anti-angiogenic drugs as there are other targeted therapies, with other mechanisms of action, which may be more suitable."