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AstraZeneca, Roche to Develop CDx for NSCLC

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – AstraZeneca today announced a collaboration with Roche to develop a companion diagnostic for AstaZeneca's investigational compound for non-small cell lung cancer.

The test will be directed at AZD9291 and will be developed to identify epidermal growth factor receptor mutations in tumor tissue as well as plasma samples from patients with NSCLC. It also will be designed to optimize the clinical development of AZD9291 for patients who are resistant to first-generation EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

According to Paul Brown, head of Roche Molecular Diagnostics, late-stage lung cancer patients currently require surgery to collect tumor tissue samples for molecular testing. However, in some cases, not enough tissue can be collected.

"This collaboration will enable molecular testing through plasma specimens and provide the information needed to inform treatment decisions without the complications of surgery, consequently increasing the level of care clinicians can give to the patient," he said in a statement.

Qiagen today also announced a CDx development deal with AstraZeneca aimed at another NSCLC drug, Iressa (gefitinib).