NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Molecular diagnostics company Insight Genetics said on Monday it has been awarded two SBIR contracts from the National Cancer Institute to develop companion diagnostic tests aimed at lung cancer.
The contracts, which total about $1.7 million, will go toward developing tests to identify and characterize specific genetic mutations in lung cancer patients. The tests would help physicians decide which therapies are best suited for individual patients.
One contract is a Phase II award for about $1.5 million to further advance the Insight ALK Screen that detects the "complete spectrum of oncogenic anaplastic lymphoma kinase mutations and fusions" associated with several types of cancer, including non-small cell lung cancer. As part of the contract, Nashville, Tenn.-based Insight will continue analytical and clinical validation of the ALK Screen, a real-time PCR-based test being developed on a Qiagen platform.
Insight also was awarded a Phase I Fast Track contract for $199,576 to support R&D work directed at a panel of companion diagnostic tests for detecting RET, ROS1, and DEPDC1 mutations in NSCLC. Collectively, those mutations account for up to 9 percent of all NSCLC cases, according to Insight.
The contract is for nine months, and if successful, Insight could continue into Phase II funding of $1.5 million, it added.