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non-small cell lung cancer

The two companies announced plans to develop a companion diagnostic to predict whether non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer patients can benefit from combination treatment with Alimta and cisplatin based on the thymidylate synthase biomarker.

Almac and Lilly will study a predictive marker for use as a companion diagnostic for a combination therapy.

According to an editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine, two new studies suggest "that EGFR mutations represent favorable prognostic markers of survival and are predictive of tumor shrinkage, but the evidence that they can predict a differential effect of tyrosine kinase inhibitors on survival is incomplete."

In an interview with Pharmacogenomics Reporter this week, Hakan Sakul provided a snapshot of Pfizer's efforts in personalized medicine, the company's stance on regulatory issues, and its overall focus on "omics"-guided medicine.

Pfizer has previously touted PF-02341066 as "the first agent in clinical development that selectively targets a unique genetic feature of cancer cells." The drug is currently in Phase III trials, while Abbott is in the process of designing validating trials for a companion test with the capability to detect ALK gene rearrangements.

Celera is currently evaluating the clinical utility of two biomarker panels — one with nine proteins and one with six — in order to determine which assay to commercialize.

AstraZeneca is working with DxS to commercialize a EGFR mutation test kit in Europe to identify the patient population most likely to benefit from treatment with non-small cell lung cancer drug Iressa. The company has announced no such plans in the US, where the FDA has restricted any new NSCLC patients from receiving the drug.

DxS' TheraScreen EGFR29 Mutation Kit will be used to test the mutation status of patients' EGFR oncogene to identify their eligibility for treatment with Iressa.

GSK and Abbott will develop a companion diagnostic for GSK's investigational MAGE-A3 immunotherapy. After discussions with the FDA, GSK believes the drug and diagnostic will be reviewed simultaneously, and labeling language for the drug will require genetic testing prior to treatment.

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The UK is investing £33.6 million into a controversial human SARS-CoV-2 challenge study, according to Reuters.

The Guardian reports that the UK COVID genomics consortium is monitoring mutations that are arising within circulating SARS-CoV-2 strains for any that may affect future vaccines.

Science reports that Max Planck and Nature have struck a deal for affiliated authors to publish papers that are accessible to the public as well as access Nature-branded journals.

In PNAS this week: genomic analysis of ancient animals from Tibet, oncoproteins tied to WEE1 kinase enzyme inhibitor response, and more.