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GeneCentric, UNC Collaborate on Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy Response Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – GeneCentric said today that it is collaborating with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to evaluate patients' responses to immunotherapeutic drugs, including PD-1 and PDL-1 inhibitors, based on bladder cancer subtypes.

The collaboration, with the laboratory of William Kim, a professor of medicine and genetics in the department of medicine and the division of hematology and oncology at UNC, involves a retrospective study of real-world data, augmented by molecular characterization of patients with metastatic bladder cancer. The research will include investigations into the links between certain bladder cancer changes, disease progression, and clinical response to anti-PD-1 and anti-PDL-1 checkpoint inhibitor therapy and other treatments, GeneCentric said. Kim is also a consultant to the company, which is based in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina.

GeneCentric said that the collaboration augments its Bladder Cancer Subtype Profiler for predicting disease progression and drug response. The profiler technology uses a 60-gene signature and four gene expression subtypes. The deal, terms of which were not disclosed, also expands the firm's Cancer Subtype Platform.

"Our UNC collaboration will build on our knowledge of bladder cancer subtypes and other biomarkers to determine their potential to predict disease progression and drug response," GeneCentric Founder and CEO Myla Lai-Goldman said in a statement.

In September, the partners announced an agreement under which GeneCentric exclusively licensed next-generation sequencing-based pancreatic cancer subtyping technology, called purity independent subtyping of tumors, or PurlST, from the university.