Clinical Data announced this week the launch of PGxPredict:Rituximab, a pharmacogenetic test that predicts follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients’ likelihood of responding to rituximab monotherapy.
This test allows oncologists to identify whether a patient is among the 20 percent of patients who respond strongly to Genentech’s Rituxan.
PGxPredict for rituximab analyzes patients’ DNA for the presence of the V158F polymorphism in the FCGR3A gene. This gene encodes the Fc gamma IIIa receptor on lymphocytes to which rituximab binds.
Based on two independent studies of 49 and 87 patients, patients with follicular, CD20-positive, B-cell NHL who carried the 158V/V version of the variant in the FCGR3A gene were more likely to respond to rituximab monotherapy than patients with other variants, Clinical Data said in a statement.
In clinical trials, patients with this particular polymorphism continued to respond strongly to rituximab after one year.
“Approximately half of those who do not carry the 158V/V variant may still respond to rituximab monotherapy,” the company noted.
In the oncology market, where the yearly cost of treatment can amount to thousands of dollars, Clinical Data highlighted that incorporating PGx Predict:Rituximab in physicians’ practices could amount to significant health care savings.
“While rituximab has proven to be valuable in the treatment of patients with follicular, CD20-positive NHL, its high cost of approximately $12,000 for four weekly treatments, and risk of toxicity may make the choice to prescribe or maintain therapy with rituximab a difficult one for physicians and patients, especially with other treatment options available,” Clincial Data said.