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KalGene, Canadian Research Groups Team on CDx for Metastatic Cancer

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – KalGene Pharmaceuticals has inked an agreement with three Canadian research entities, the Sunnybrook Research Institute, the Centre for Imaging Technology Commercialization, and the Ontario Cancer Biomarker Network, to develop a companion diagnostic for metastatic cancer.

The Vancouver, British Columbia-based pharmaceutical firm will collaborate with its partners on a prognostic marker test along with a companion therapeutic specifically targeting aggressive cancers, such as metastatic breast, colon, and brain cancer.

Under the multi-year, multi-stage alliance, Sunnybrook's Biomarker Imaging Research Laboratory will provide its expertise in optimizing multiplexed immunohistochemistry imaging and characterizing the structure and function of specific antibodies to develop a therapeutic that targets aggressive cancers. OCBN, through its lab at Queen's University, also will work on optimizing IHC staining and will provide avenues for expert clinical review.

CIMTEC will provide project management services and coordinate research labs in multiple cities, the partners said. It also aims to create digital pathology algorithms to quantify new biomarkers.

Martin Yaffe, who heads Sunnybrook's Biomarker Imaging Research Laboratory and is principal investigator on the project, said in a statement, "KalGene's initiative is a great example of the role biomarkers can play in delivering more individualized patient therapies."