Roche business aims to develop next-generation diagnostics for personalized cancer care.

Ventana Medical Systems negotiated a nonexclusive worldwide license to relevant Cell Signaling Technology (CST) IP and antibody reagents for the detection of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutations in the field of tissue-based in vitro diagnostic testing. CST says it has already developed mutation-specific EGFR antibodies through its in-house cancer biomarker program. “CST is very excited to enter into this agreement with Ventana for the development of next-generation diagnostic products that intend to fulfill the promise of personalized cancer medicine,” remarks Michael J. Comb, Ph.D., CST’s president and CEO.

Ventana is owned by Roche and specializes in the development medical diagnostic systems and slide-based tests for cancer. Marketed products include the Vantage Workflow Solution and associated slide stainers, image-analysis solutions, and a rabbit monoclonal breast panel.

CST is focused on developing research tools used to help define mechanisms underlying cell function and disease, and in particular the production of the activation-state antibodies for investigating cell signaling pathways.

Just last month the firm announced a joint cancer therapeutics and diagnostics partnership with Astellas Pharma that aims to commercialize diagnostic and therapeutic products targeting the cancer enzyme EML4-ALK. The project will build on CST’s discovery of certain variants of EML4-ALK in human cancer, and subsequent development of clinically validated antibodies that can detect the enzyme in human cancer tissues.

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