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Ventana, Bayer Reach CDx Development Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ventana Medical Systems today announced a collaboration with Bayer Pharma to develop a molecular companion diagnostic for a novel Bayer antibody-drug conjugate (ADC).

Ventana will use its immunohistochemistry platform to analyze the expression levels of certain tumor targets in clinical studies for patient selection in support of new therapy development efforts at Bayer, Ventana said. Ventana will initially develop, manufacture, and commercialize a companion diagnostic for a Bayer ADC.

During a five-year period, the two companies may also initiate additional projects to develop molecular companion diagnostics for other targeted cancer drugs.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ADCs comprise of an antibody, a cytotoxic drug, and a linker. By targeting a drug selectively to tumor tissue, they improve a drug's efficacy while limiting its system toxicity, Ventana said.

The deal is the third by Ventana in recent weeks in the area of companion diagnostics. Last week, the company, part of the Roche Group, inked a pact with Pfizer to develop a companion diagnostic for a new Pfizer non-small cell lung cancer drug. Earlier in the month, it and Syndax Pharmaceuticals announced a deal for a companion diagnostic, also for a NSCLC drug in development.

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