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GEN News Highlights : Jun 27, 2012

Lilly Taps PrimeraDx for Companion Diagnostics Development

PrimeraDx' ICEPlex platform combines PCR and electrophoresis for quantitative multi-analyte assays.

Eli Lilly and PrimeraDx inked a collaboration centered on the development of companion diagnostics for multiple therapeutics in the Lilly pipeline. The collaboration initially aims to develop multiplex assays using PrimeraDx’s ICEPlex® for applications in oncology, although the R&D will be relevant across multiple therapeutic areas.

PrimeraDx says the agreement represents a major validation of its technology for the development of complex diagnostic tests. “We have great expectations of our collaboration with PrimeraDx,” adds Andrew Schade, M.D., senior director of Lilly’s clinical diagnostics laboratory. “The unique ability of the ICEPlex system to combine multiple DNA and RNA biomarkers into a single multiplex assay could prove invaluable in our drive to develop companion diagnostics for crucial assets in our clinical pipeline.”

Designed for clinical labs, the ICEPlex platform combines PCR with capillary electrophoresis in a single benchtop system that allows the design and execution of multiplex, quantitative diagnostic assays that can effectively measure up to 60 disparate types of analyte in a single sample. The firm aims to market the technology to clinical laboratories as an open platform, and also collaborate with pharmaceutical companies on the development of companion diagnostics.

The ICEPlex platform is built around PrimeraDx’ STAR technology, which provides the ability to electrokinetically inject molecules from PCR into the capillaries and run electrophoresis in real-time, enabling multimodal assays or mixed target type reactions for SNPs, expression biomarkers, miRNAs, or fusion genes.

PrimeraDx currently has a pipeline of assay kits and aims to develop a broad range of applications for oncology, infectious disease, companion diagnostics, and multiple nonclinical molecular markets, both through its own efforts and in collaboration with partners.