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Amgen to Offer Biocartis RAS Biomarker Tests in Select Countries

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Belgian molecular diagnostics firm Biocartis said today that it has signed a deal under which its Idylla RAS biomarker tests will be made available by Amgen to reference hospitals in Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Spain, and Turkey.

The tests, which are based on Biocartis' Idylla real-time PCR system, analyze tumor tissue samples for mutations in RAS gene family members KRAS and NRAS, as well as several other oncogenes, in order to help guide treatment decisions for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. According to the company, the tests have a turnaround time of approximately two hours.

"Our collaboration will significantly enable improved patient care in countries where cancer patients, until now, have had to wait weeks and sometimes months to get critical diagnostic information," Biocartis Chief Commercial Officer Ulrik Cordes said in a statement. "Together with Amgen, we can now secure much faster access to the right treatment for certain patients." 

Amgen markets Vectibix (panitumumab), a human monoclonal antibody specific to the epidermal growth factor receptor, for the treatment of wild-type KRAS metastatic colorectal cancer. At least two tests have been approved for selecting patients who will likely respond to the drug including ones developed by Qiagen and Roche.

In early 2014, Amgen also partnered with Illumina to develop a next-generation sequencing-based companion diagnostic for Vectibix to identify patients' RAS mutation status.