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Foundation Medicine Inks Cancer Biomarker Deal with J&J


Foundation Medicine has struck a deal with Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development to use Foundation's targeted sequencing cancer test to identify potential biomarkers that could be of interest for the pharmaceutical company's clinical oncology programs.

The collaboration is the fourth agreement Foundation has signed with a pharmaceutical company this year, following similar deals with Novartis, Cellgene, and one undisclosed company (CSN 5/17/2011).

"Our test may help identify patients that are more likely to respond to targeted therapies, which could accelerate clinical development and give physicians additional ways to effectively treat patients," said Foundation CEO Michael Pellini in a statement.

Aside from pharmaceutical collaborations, the company is preparing to launch the test, which will sequence more than 200 genes associated with cancer, commercially in the second quarter of 2012 and expects to achieve CLIA certification of its lab by the end of this year (CSN 6/8/2011).

This latest deal follows on the heels of a recent $33.5 million fundraising round to support the commercialization of its test (CSN 10/19/2011).

Financial terms of the deal with J&J were not disclosed.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.