NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – DxS today said that it has entered into a partnership with AstraZeneca to potentially market a companion diagnostic for the drug firm's gefitinib (Iressa) treatment for non small cell lung cancer.
DxS said that its TheraScreen EGFR29 Mutation Kit will be used to test the mutation status of patients' EGFR oncogene to identify their eligibility for treatment with Iressa. Manchester, UK-based DxS has already CE-marked the TheraScreen EGFR29 Mutation Kit.
The alliance follows European Union marketing authorization of Iressa for treating adults with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC with activating mutations of EGFR-TK across all lines of therapy.
Iressa inhibits the tyrosine kinase enzyme in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR), thus blocking the transmission of signals involved in the growth and spread of tumors, said DxS. In approximately 10 percent to 15 percent of NSCLC cases in Caucasians, a mutation in the EGFR pathway causes tumors to be particularly susceptible to treatment with IRESSA, which makes the use of a companion diagnostic to identify those most suitable for treatment extremely important, the molecular diagnostics firm said.