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Genomic Health Licenses Almac's Technology to Develop New Test

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Genomic Health said after the close of the market on Monday that it is exclusively licensing Almac Group's technology and intellectual property to develop a multi-gene test for the prediction of benefits from DNA damage-based chemotherapy drugs.

Genomic Health will also validate and validate the test, which is focused on drugs such as the commonly used anthracycline-based regimens. The company said such a test would be especially useful for high-risk breast cancer patients who are eligible for chemotherapy based on their Oncotype DX score.

It will identify a study cohort to validate genes previously identified and published by Almac. Genomic Health made a $9 million upfront payment, which it expects to expense in the fourth quarter. It also will make additional milestone payments upon certain clinical and commercial endpoints being met, and if the test is commercialized, Genomic Health will pay additional royalties to Almac Group.

"Working with Almac, we have the opportunity to gain further insight on the role of DNA repair in drug efficacy, which may provide clinical utility to help select which breast cancer patients benefit from specific chemotherapy drugs and regimens," Steven Shak, executive vice president of R&D for Genomic Health, said in a statement. "This new test may address another unmet need by providing additional information specific to the benefit from anthracycline-based regimens for high-risk patients and possibly those with triple negative breast cancer as well."