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Ventana Signs Companion Diagnostic Agreement for Genmab Antibody-Drug Conjugate

By BiotechDaily International staff writers
Posted on 14 Apr 2014
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Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana; Tucson, AZ, USA), a member of the Roche Group (Basel, Switzerland), has entered into an agreement with Genmab A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark) for the development of companion diagnostic (CDx) tools for Genmab's "HuMax-TF-ADC" antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) program. As part of the agreement, Ventana will provide its expertise and services towards the development of an immunohistochemistry (IHC) companion diagnostic test for the detection of tissue factor (TF) in patient tumor samples. The TF assay will be developed for possible designation as the screening test in clinical trials involving HuMax-TF-ADC.

CDx tests, designed to detect the presence of specific biomarkers, assist clinicians in selecting effective therapies and in identifying the patients most likely to respond favorably to specific therapies. Incorporating a companion diagnostic strategy into a drug development program may help generate more effective drugs with improved safety profiles for patients. Ventana has worked with more than 45 biopharmaceutical partners and is currently engaged in more than 180 collaborative projects to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics globally. The company has a global install base of over 10,000 automated platforms that run advanced cancer diagnostic tests.

Via antibody conjugation to potent cytotoxic drugs, ADCs for cancer therapy can increase efficacy and reduce systemic toxicity of drugs by targeting them selectively to tumor cells The targeted nature of ADCs make them good candidates for codevelopment with the Ventana IHC-based companion diagnostic assays that measure tumor-specific antigens.

"We are pleased to work with Genmab to develop a companion diagnostic for HuMax-TF-ADC," said Ventana President Mara G. Aspinall. "This agreement is in 100% alignment with our CDx strategy and our ever-growing lineup of global pharma partnerships designed to bring promising therapies to market faster to improve the lives of cancer patients."

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