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Arno Licenses Technology from U of Minnesota for CDx Development

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Arno Therapeutics today announced it has inked an exclusive, worldwide licensing deal with the University of Minnesota for a technology covering a gene expression signature derived from archived breast cancer tissue samples.

As part of the deal, Arno will continue development of a progesterone receptor gene signature as a potential companion diagnostic for anti-progestins, including Arno's lead compound called onapristone for treating men's and women's cancers.

Onapristone is an oral, anti-progestin hormone blocker that in clinical trials demonstrated anti-tumor activity in breast cancer patients. The compound is being evaluated in France in a phase I clinical trial of women who have progesterone receptor-expressing tumors.

Arno said that tests for the activated form of the progesterone receptor (APR) may be able to function as a biomarker of anti-progestin activity, as detected by a companion diagnostic.

"Onapristone, a member of the class of anti-progestins, has the distinct ability to block the activation of the progesterone receptor," David Jackson, vice president of Diagnostics of Arno, said in a statement. "We believe this license agreement will enable Arno's diagnostic strategy to identify and develop multiple analytical methods to identify those patients whose tumors are APR-positive and may therefore benefit from targeted onapristone therapy."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.