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GEN News Highlights : Jul 22, 2009

DxS and Horizon Team Up to Evaluate Former’s Companion Diagnostic for Anti-EGFR Therapy

Horizon will use isogenic human mutant versus normal DNA controls.

Horizon Discovery and DxS entered a collaboration through which Horizon will generate a panel of human isogenic X-Man™ (mutant and normal) cell lines to help evaluate the effectiveness of DxS’ TheraScreen K-RAS Mutation Kits. 

The TheraScreen K-RAS Mutation Kit is a companion diagnostic designed for use in combination with targeted anti-EGFR therapies for colorectal cancer, such as Amgen’s Vectibix™ (panitumumab) and Merck Serono Erbitux™, which is marketed by Bristol-Myers Squibb and ImClone. The kit detects mutations in a cancer patient’s K-RAS gene and can identify patients who are most likely to respond to anti-EGFR treatment.

“Our initial focus will be on evaluating new diagnostic kits from DxS using isogenic human mutant versus normal DNA controls, which we feel represent  a gold-standard means of benchmarking companion diagnostics where mutations often need to be detected in humans with a background of excess isogenic normal DNA,” explains Horizon’s CEO, Chris Torrance Ph.D.
 
The EMEA has already made the testing of all colon cancer patients for resistance genes compulsory before EGFR-targeted treatments can be prescribed, and the American Society of Clinical Oncologists (ASCO) is pushing for the adoption of similar guidelines, the companies note.