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Metamark Teams with Janssen on Prognostic Markers

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Metamark Genetics said yesterday that it has signed a research and licensing deal with Janssen Biotech on identifying and validating prognostic markers for cancer.

The firms intend to validate several of Metamark's Prognostic Determinants, which are genes that are believed to play a causal role in promoting tumor progression and metastases. Cambridge, Mass.-based Metamark makes MetamarkDx Prognostic Assays based on the Prognostic Determinants technology.

Under the collaboration, Janssen Biotech, one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, will receive a limited exclusive license under Metamark's intellectual property. It will be responsible for discovering, developing, and commercializing therapeutic inhibitors that target the Prognostic Determinants.

Metamark will receive an initial upfront payment from Janssen Biotech and near-term milestone payments following initial target validation. Metamark is eligible to receive up to $365 million in milestone payments across multiple targets, based on the achievement of certain development, regulatory, and commercialization goals.

"This collaboration and license agreement reflects the value of Metamark's innovative approach to identifying genes and proteins that drive aggressive behavior of tumors — both in the development of prognostic assays as well as in supporting the discovery and development of novel targeted therapeutics," Eric Devroe, VP of business strategy and development at Metamark, said in a statement.

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