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Kew, Denka Launch Joint Venture in Japan

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Molecular diagnostics firm Kew and Japanese life science product manufacturer Denka have entered into a joint venture to provide genomic profiling to cancer patients in Japan.

The new joint venture, Denka-Kew Genomics (DKGX), plans to open a commercial clinical laboratory in Tokyo in the first half of 2017. Kew will provide DKGX with a license to its cancer sequencing platform, CancerPlex, a 400-gene next-generation sequencing-based cancer panel that aims to match patients' tumor molecular profiles to drugs.

Denka and Kew, which is headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, began collaborating to provide CancerPlex to Japanese patients in 2015 and last year published the results of that collaboration in a study in Genome Medicine.

That original collaboration and publication "serves as the basis for our establishing DKGX," Raju Kucherlapati, co-founder of Kew and professor of genetics and medicine and Harvard Medical School, said in a statement.

Kew launched CancerPlex in 2013, and in 2014 it inked a deal with Cardinal Health Specialty Solutions to promote the test to community oncologists.