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Erytech Pharma, MD Anderson Ink Companion Dx Deal

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (Genomeweb News) – French firm Erytech Pharma today said that it will collaborate with MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston on the development of a companion diagnostic for the firm's anticancer drug candidate.

The companion diagnostic would be used to determine which patients would be most likely to respond to the company's Graspa therapy, which consists of red blood cell-encapsulated L-asparaginase (L-ASP). The drug is already used in leukemia chemotherapy regimens, but Erytech also is developing it for treatment of solid tumors.

John Weinstein, chair of the department of bioinformatics and computational biology at MD Anderson, said that researchers at the center have identified a candidate biomarker, asparagine synthetase, that may predict L-ASP activity against solid tumors.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.