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Clinical Data in Cancer PGx Alliance with Univ. of Pittsburgh

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Clinical Data today said that it has started a collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh to discover and validate genetic variants that could predict response to certain cancer treatments.

The partners will focus on variants in the Fc gamma receptor genes, which they believe could potentially predict patient response to monoclonal antibody therapies, such as cetuximab (Erbitux) and trastuzumab (Herceptin), and other monoclonal antibodies of the IgG1 subclass for treating cancer.

Clinical Data said that its PGx Health division will collaborate with Robert Ferris, chief of the division of head and neck surgery at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute, on initially studying patients receiving Erbitux for head and neck cancer. The partners intend to extend the scope of the collaboration to other cancers and treatments, and may extend the pact to include monoclonal antibody-based therapies for other diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis.

Clinical Data's PGx Health division already markets a PGxPredict:Rituximab test, which detects a single nucleotide polymorphism in FCGR3A that has been found to predict the response of patients with follicular non-Hodgkin's lymphoma to rituximab monotherapy, the Newton, Mass.-based firm said.

Financial and other terms of the alliance were not disclosed.

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