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Ventana to Develop Companion Dx for Pfizer NSCLC Drug

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Ventana Medical Systems has struck a collaboration agreement with Pfizer and a license pact with Cell Signaling Technology to develop an automated companion diagnostic test for determining which non-small cell lung cancer patients will respond to a new Pfizer drug.

The immunohistochemistry test Ventana will develop will identify NSCLC patients with rearrangements of the anaplastic lymphoma receptor tyrosinekinase, or ALK, gene. Such patients may benefit from crizotinib, marketed by Pfizer as Xalkori.

The Ventana ALK IHC test will be based on CST's D5F3 antibody and Ventana's OptiView DAB detection technologies, and it will be performed on Ventana's automated platforms.

"Our early development data suggests that the combination of CST's D5F3 antibody and Ventana's OptiView detection generates a highly sensitive assay that detects cases with very low expression of the ALK protein in lung tissue," Ventana's President Mara Aspinall said in a statement.

The Scan

And Back

The New York Times reports that missing SARS-CoV-2 genome sequences are back in a different database.

Lacks Family Hires Attorney

A lawyer for the family of Henrietta Lacks plans to seek compensation from pharmaceutical companies that have used her cancer cells in product development, the Baltimore Sun reports.

For the Unknown

The Associated Press reports that family members are calling on the US military to use new DNA analysis techniques to identify unknown sailors and Marines who were on the USS Arizona.

PLOS Papers on Congenital Heart Disease, COVID-19 Infection Host MicroRNAs, Multiple Malformation Mutations

In PLOS this week: new genes linked to congenital heart disease, microRNAs with altered expression in COVID-19, and more.