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Dako Partners with Genentech on Companion Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Danish diagnostics firm Dako today said that it has signed an agreement to provide companion diagnostics for Genentech's trastuzumab (Herceptin) for patients with advanced HER2-positive stomach cancer.

The deal calls for Genentech, which is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Roche, to collaborate with Dako on US regulatory submissions of the HercepTest and HER2 FISH pharmDx as companion diagnostics for Herceptin in treating these patients. The tests are already used to identify patients with HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer who are eligible for treatment with Herceptin.

Based on the results of a Phase III study, which was presented at the American Society for Clinical Oncology annual meeting in late May, Genentech said that it may file for US approval of Herceptin in treating advanced HER2-positive stomach cancer.

"We see great potential in a strong collaborative approach between biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and diagnostic companies, in targeting the right drugs for the right patients, both to improve patient care and more efficiently manage health care costs," Dako President and CEO Lars Holmkvist said in a statement.

Dako said that roughly 22 percent of stomach tumors are HER2-positive. It cited figures from the American Cancer Society that there are more than 1 million new cases of gastric or stomach cancer each year worldwide.

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