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Veridex, Arno Reach Deal to Develop CDx for Anti-Progestins

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Arno Therapeutics today announced an agreement with Johnson & Johnson's Veridex to develop a companion diagnostic for identifying patients who may benefit from anti-progestin cancer therapeutics.

The deal calls for the development of a test to detect the presence of activated progesterone receptors as a possible biomarker of anti-progestin activity in circulating tumor cells. Arno is developing onapristone, an orally administered investigational type 1 progestin receptor antagonist, and the test being developed could help identify patients who would benefit from the drug, as well as other anti-progestins.

Arno will use Veridex's CellSearch platform to isolate circulating tumor cells and analyze the cells for the presence of activated progesterone receptors. The US Food and Drug Administration-cleared platform captures, isolates, and counts circulating tumor cells.

"By taking blood samples from patients rather than obtaining tissue samples, we hope to create a simplified and less invasive process for identifying patients that are most likely to benefit from treatment with onapristone," Glenn Mattes, CEO and president of Arno, said in a statement.

The diagnostic test will be used in clinical studies of onapristone, anticipated to start in the second half of this year.

Financial and other terms of the alliance were not disclosed.