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GSK adds diagnostic test for lung cancer vaccine candidate

Extends personalised medicine deal with Abbott, adding an additional companion diagnostic test for early-stage candidate

GlaxoSmithKline's biologics arm has extended its personalised medicine deal with Abbott to support its early-stage lung cancer vaccine candidate.

GSK has signed up Abbott to provide an additional companion diagnostic test to screen non-small cell lung cancer tumours for the expression of the PRAME antigen.

The company's candidate GSK2302032A is currently in phase I trials for non-small cell lung cancer and two of its primary outcome measures are anti-PRAME humoral immune response.

PRAME is a preferentially expressed antigen of melanoma that is expressed in 69 per cent of non-small cell lung cancer cases, as well as in a wide variety of cancer types, including melanoma, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancer, with limited expression in normal cells.

Companion diagnostic tests are designed to identify specific DNA sequences to help guide physicians in determining which patients are more or less likely to benefit from a particular therapy.

The companies' existing agreements in the area, announced in July 2009 and March 2010, focused on the development of PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests to screen non-small cell lung cancer and melanoma tumours for expression of the MAGE-A3 antigen.

Under the expanded agreement, Abbott will develop a PCR test to screen non-small cell lung cancer tumours for the expression of the PRAME antigen.

"This expanded collaboration, along with Abbott's other recently announced partnerships in oncology, demonstrates the continued commitment Abbott is making to assess biomarkers linked to immunotherapies in various cancers," said Stafford O'Kelly, head of Abbott's molecular diagnostics business.

"This agreement is a testament to the scientific advances Abbott and the industry is making in personalised medicine and companion diagnostics, which are helping ensure the right medicines get to the right cancer patients."

29th November 2011

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