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GEN News Highlights : Jan 31, 2011

MDxHealth to Develop Companion Diagnostic for Pfizer Cancer Candidate

Test will be used to predict breast and ovarian cancer patients’ responses to clinical-stage PARP1/PARP2b inhibitor.

MDxHealth is to work with Pfizer, Newcastle University (UK) and Cancer Research Technology (CRT; the tech transfer arm of Cancer Research UK), to identify and develop a biomarker test for predicting breast and ovarian cancer patients’ responses to its three partners’ Phase II-stage PARP inhibitor candidate PF-01367338 (formerly AG-14699).

PF-01367338 is an inhibitor of both the PARP1 and PARP2b enzymes, which are involved in cellular DNA damage repair. The biomarker assay collaboration will involve MDxHealth profiling the methylation patterns of DNA damage repair genes to identify those involved in predicting tumor development and response to PARP inhibition.

The firm aims to set up a high-throughput platform that is clinically validated to test for epigenetic defects in DDR genes for use in clinical trials. MDxHealth says under terms of the deal with Pfizer, Newcastle University, and CRT, it will retain the rights to any resulting methylation-based commercial companion diagnostic.

MDxHealth is exploiting its DNA-based methylation technology to develop and commercialize molecular diagnostic products for personalized cancer treatment. The firm is developing clinical diagnostics for use by physicians in the assessment of cancer diagnosis and prognosis and is working with pharmaceutical industry partners to develop pharmaco-diagnostics that could be used to select in conjunction with clinical trials and the regulatory approval process.