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Ventana, ImmunoGen Team up in CDx Deal

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Roche's Ventana Medical Systems today announced a deal with ImmunoGen to develop an immunohistochemistry-based companion diagnostic test for the oncology therapeutic firm's product candidates.

The companies have initially developed a test for folate receptor alpha, FRa, also known as folate receptor 1, or FOL1. The test is being used in early trials for ImmunoGen's FRa-targeting antibody conjugate IMGN853. Cancers that highly express FRa include epithelial ovarian cancer, endometrial cancer, and types of non-small cell lung cancer.

Ventana and ImmunoGen said that the collaboration leverages Ventana's expertise in companion diagnostic development, from prototyping through regulatory approval and commercialization in order to identify patient populations that may benefit from ImmunoGen's targeted therapies.

Financial and other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Ventana noted that it is currently involved in more than 180 collaborations to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics. Most recently it inked a deal with Quintiles to offer companion diagnostic testing services to drug developers in early stage oncology studies in China. Ventana also has CDx deals with Merck KGaA for an undisclosed therapeutic target and with MedImmune for a non-small cell lung cancer target.