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MDxHealth Partners on Biomarker for PARP Inhibitor

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – MDx Health today announced a deal with Newcastle University in the UK, Cancer Research Technology, and Pfizer to identify and develop biomarkers that can predict response to a PARP inhibitor.

Biomarkers will be developed to assess patient response to PF-01367338, a PARP inhibitor under development by Newcastle University, CRT, and Pfizer. If successful, the collaboration could lead to the development of a companion diagnostic to help guide physicians in treating ovarian and breast cancer, MDxHealth said in a statement.

PF-01367338 inhibits PARP1 and PARP2b enzymes involved in cellular DNA damage repair. Under the terms of the deal, MDxHealth will profile the methylation patterns of DNA damage repair genes to identify those that may be useful in predicting tumor development and response to PARP inhibition.

MDxHealth said that its goal is to create a clinically validated high-throughput platform to rapidly test for epigenetic defects in key DNA damage repair genes for use in designing and implementing clinical trials for targeted therapies.

"MDxHealth's methylation platform is potentially suited for the development of companion diagnostics in a wide range of cancer indications," Jan Groen, CEO of Liege, Belgium-based MDxHealth, said in a statement.

Under terms of the deal, MDxHealth also will provide biomarker discovery services, assay development services, and clinical trial testing. It retains rights to any methylation-based commercial companion diagnostic test that may result from the deal.

Newcastle University, through research groups led by Nicola Curtin, a professor of experimental therapeutics, and Richard Edmondson, a clinical senior lecturer in cancer research, will participate in biomarker discovery and validation work. CRT has the right to develop and commercialize new biomarkers in other fields, and Pfizer will fund the partnership, as well as contribute expertise in translational research.

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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