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PGDx ImmunoSelect-R

Personal Genome Diagnostics has launched ImmunoSelect-R, a service that gives drug developers access to its CancerXome analysis and bioinformatics pipeline. ImmunoSelect-R is intended to support pharma's immuno-oncology development programs thorugh the accurate identification mutant neoantigens.

PGDx's services were highlighted this week at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's annual meeting, where researchers led by Johns Hopkins University showed that colorectal cancer patients with mismatch repair deficiencies had thousands of mutations and responded particularly well to anti-PD-1 immunotherapy. For this study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, PGDx performed exome sequencing and tumor-specific mutation detection, and "showed that cancer patients with the MMR deficiency on average had more than 20 times as many mutations in their tumors as similar patients who were not MMR deficient." The study suggests, according to PGDx and other researchers at ASCO, that PD-1 blockers may be effective against a variety of tumors that are hypermutated.

Within the ImmunoSelect-R service, PGDx will conduct tumor/normal control DNA comparisons to account for false-positive germline mutations in any analysis. The firm claims its methods have 95 percent sensitivity and 97 percent positive predictive value down to 10 percent mutant allele frequency for gauging true somatic mutations. PGDx touts that it has a proprietary process for selecting the best neoantigen candidates for validation and that it employs between 100 to 1,000 times more independently-validated data points in an effort to reduce false-positive somatic mutation calls by up to 90 percent compared to its competitors.