EGFR has emerged as a primary area of interest in cancer research, with biopharmaceuticals like Imclone's Erbitux and Amgen's Vectibix targeting the protein, but its multiple isoforms have made it difficult to predict these drugs' effectiveness, said Yale professor Nita Maihle.
The diagnostics firm and its partners will focus on accelerating the development of targeted colorectal cancer drugs, though there is also the possibility that Agendia might develop commercial companion diagnostics for specific drugs in AstraZeneca's pipeline.
Like other pioneers in sequencing-based diagnostics, the Mayo team is grappling with questions such as how to deal with mutations of unknown significance, how to return results to patients, and whether results need to be verified with Sanger sequencing.
Using gene expression data combined with bioinformatic analyses, scientists at the University of Georgia and China's Jilin University are developing a urine-based protein biomarker test for gastric cancer that they hope to offer as a direct-to-consumer diagnostic.
The University of Antwerp spinout's first significant investment will enable it to seek a CE Mark for in vitro diagnostic use of its multiplexed PCR assays for clinical breast cancer and cystic fibrosis sequencing.
As the firm moves toward clinical trials for its Cologuard colorectal cancer test, almost all of Exact Sciences' revenues were from licensing deals, while product revenues dropped to $4,000 from $12,000 a year ago.