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UCSF Licenses Cancer Technology to MioDx

The story has been corrected to reflect that the name of one of the checkpoint inhibitor therapies is PD-L1 and the name of MioDx's immunosequencing platform is called ClonoMap. Our apologies for the errors. 

NEW YORK (360Dx) – Cancer biomarker firm MioDx on Thursday said it has exclusively licensed technologies from the University of California, San Francisco related to monitoring patient response to immunotherapies.

One technology is for monitoring patient response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapies such as PD-L1 and CTLA-4. A second license includes a method to determine whether patients are likely to have immune-related adverse events from their immunotherapy regimens.

Immunotherapies are a relatively new therapeutic strategy that work by stimulating a cancer patient's immune system to attack the disease. Currently, hundreds of immunotherapies are in clinical trials or in development, MioDx said.

“While we are very excited by what we see in terms of the effect these drugs have on certain patient populations, we believe that there remains a critical need to monitor patients, as there is still a huge unknown on what is happening to their immune system,” MioDx CEO Allen Northrup said in a statement.

Lawrence Fong, a leader in the cancer immunotherapy program at UCSF's Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center and a scientific advisor to MioDx, added that diagnostic assays to help guide immunotherapies are a "huge unmet clinical need. Rather than treating all patients, we need to select patients who can respond to these treatments, as well as determine which patients may develop side effects."

Financial and other terms of the deal were not disclosed.

MioDx also said it will provide the university with immunosequencing services as part of the validation and commercialization of the technology.  

MioDx Chief Operating Officer Sean Givens said that the San Jose, California-based firm plans to offer its immunosequencing platform, called ClonoMap, as a research service for pharmaceutical firms and academics working on checkpoint inhibitor therapies, and as a test ordered by oncologists to monitor patients undergoing immunotherapy.

The company anticipates launching the research service in the second quarter of 2017.

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