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Insight Genetics Snags $193K NCI SBIR Grant to Develop CDx for ALK Resistance

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Insight Genetics has received a $193,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute to develop a companion diagnostic test, the molecular diagnostics company said today.

The Phase I Small Business Innovation Research award is for the development of a test called Insight ALK Resistance for drugs targeting mutations and fusions of anaplastic lymphoma kinase. The test, the Nashville, Tenn.-based firm said, will help physicians monitor and make better treatment decisions for patients being treated for non-small cell lung cancer and other ALK-driven malignancies.

The terms of the contract call for Insight to further build out Insight ALK Resistance, which is being developed to detect all known ALK inhibitor-resistance mutations using an allele-specific PCR platform.

If Insight is successful in completing the Phase I grant, it would be eligible to apply for Phase II funding of $1.5 million for commercialization of its test.

Recently, the US Food and Drug Administration cleared Abbott's Vysis AK Break Apart FISH probe as a companion diagnostic for Pfizer's Xalkor (crizotinib) ALK-inhibitor.

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