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GEN News Highlights : Jul 29, 2013

MolecularMD Licenses DDR2 Mutation Technology from Broad, Dana-Farber

Portland, OR-based molecular diagnostics developer MolecularMD has entered into a license agreement through which it has obtained exclusive patent rights to technology—jointly owned by investigators at the Broad and Dana-Farber Cancer Institutes—pertaining to DDR2 mutations for diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive uses in lung cancer. Financial terms were not disclosed.

MolecularMD said it is developing DDR2 diagnostic assays, including next-generation sequencing-based tests, for use in clinical trials exploring the efficacy of targeted therapies, as well as DDR2 clinical utility. The firm added that it provides in vitro diagnostic development and manufacturing capabilities to support the commercialization of companion diagnostics. Under the terms of the license agreement, MolecularMD will also support commercialization of DDR2 technology through sublicensing to clinical reference laboratories and diagnostic assay developers and manufacturers, the firm said.

"DDR2 is potentially the first actionable biomarker available for SCC [squamous cell carcinoma] patients, whose treatment options are currently limited to chemotherapy,” MolecularMD's Greg Cox, Ph.D., director of licensing, said in a statement. “It's exciting that these patients may benefit from existing FDA-approved targeted therapies, and we are eager to support clinical trials examining these novel treatment possibilities and enable widespread access to DDR2 diagnostics.”