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Cepheid, OHSU Co-developing Cancer MDx Tests for GeneXpert

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Cepheid and the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & Science University said after the close of the market on Tuesday that they are collaborating to develop a menu of molecular diagnostic assays to run on Cepheid's GeneXpert platform.

Initial work will focus on breast and prostate cancers, including the development of Xpert Breast Cancer Signature for predicting the recurrence of cancer in newly diagnosed patients, as well as the development of Xpert Prostate Cancer Recurrence Risk for determining the likelihood that patients who have had prostate surgery will have a recurrence of the disease.

The deal includes an exclusive license to Cepheid covering intellectual property developed by OHSU in prostate cancer and IP co-developed by OHSU and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in breast cancer. In addition to creating oncology tests for the GeneXpert system, the collaboration aims to create a system for clinically validating the tests through the Knight Diagnostic Laboratories, a division of the Knight Cancer Institute, the partners said.

Knight Diagnostic Laboratories also has the option to develop laboratory-developed tests for breast and prostate cancers comprising multiplexed gene expression signatures that would eventually appear on the GeneXpert system.

Joe Gray, associate director of translational research for the Knight Cancer Institute, and Michael Bates, vice president of oncology research and development at Cepheid, will direct the research.

"Prostate and breast cancer are the two most commonly occurring cancers in the United States and, together with Cepheid, we are determined to develop reliable, rapid and inexpensive diagnostic assays that are readily available to physicians and their patients," Gray, who also is director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine, said in a statement. "As more information emerges about the molecular abnormalities that determine tumor behavior, we will be able to develop assays for the Xpert system that will allow us to identify and more precisely treat the most lethal forms of breast and prostate cancer, while sparing others from unnecessary treatments."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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