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Culmination Bio, Cofactor Genomics Team up on Study to Advance Immunotherapy Response Test

NEW YORK – Culmination Bio and Cofactor Genomics said on Tuesday that they have partnered to develop Cofactor's OncoPrism test to predict immunotherapy responses across 11 cancer types.

San Francisco-based Cofactor has been developing its laboratory-developed OncoPrism assay to predict response to immune checkpoint inhibitors, including Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab). It uses RNA-sequencing data from tumor tissue and machine learning to determine a patient's T-cell subtypes.

Intermountain Healthcare spinout Culmination Bio will offer Cofactor access to 4.5 million biological samples with decades of clinical outcome data to further develop the test.

Cofactor's test will be incorporated into the ongoing biobanking trial, PREDAPT (Predicting Immunotherapy Efficacy From Analysis of Pre-treatment Tumor Biopsies), which is designed to collect de-identified tumor tissue from patients scheduled to begin cancer treatment.

Initially, Cofactor and Culmination will focus on lung cancer and head and neck cancers, but the partners will eventually add nine other cancer types including triple-negative breast cancer, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, gastric cancer, kidney cancer, liver cancer, and urothelial cancers.

According to the partners, early data from PREDAPT have already suggested Cofactor's biomarker approach can improve response prediction versus immunohistochemistry-based PD-L1 expression biomarkers.

"The goal of this partnership is to innovate and build predictive diagnostics that match the right patients to the right treatments, fulfilling the promise of precision medicine," Culmination Bio CEO Lincoln Nadauld said in a statement.