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Eisai Partners with PGDx To Develop Liquid Biopsy NGS Tool Against Cancer
The non availability of patient tissue samples or the challenges that exists in obtaining them impedes data inference from clinical trials. In contrast, NGS analysis of patient blood samples provide researchers a deep insight on the cancer they are dealing with and aids in novel drug development and treatment.
Japanese Pharma Eisai Co., Ltd. has recently launched a partnership with Maryland-based Personal Genome Diagnostics Inc. (PGDx) to develop a cancer gene panel test that detects circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the blood and facilitates biomarker discovery. The collaboration intends to build a liquid biopsy-based NGS kit that enables researchers to perform comprehensive genomic profiling without resorting to invasive methods.
With the automated NGS workflow, researchers could detect several genomic alterations in over 500+ cancer and drug-resistance related genes. The assay will reveal several somatic alterations including indels, copy number variations (CNVs), rearrangements, single nucleotide variants (SNVs) and genomic signatures such as microsatellite instability (MSI) and tumor mutation burden (TMB). These data will be crucial for researchers to evaluate drug response dynamics and explore the mechanisms of acquired drug resistance in tumors. The companies are committed to inviting participation from external researchers across the world while developing the kit. Both parties envision their product to offer a better solution in addressing clinical trial difficulties and become a benchmark.
“Partnering with PGDx to develop this solution is part of our Data-Driven Drug Discovery & Development (5D drug discovery) initiative to accelerate drug discovery,” said Dr. Takashi Owa, Vice President, Chief Medicine Creation and Chief Discovery Officer, Oncology Business Group at Eisai. “Utilizing digital technology, our history in drug development and PGDx’s liquid biopsy expertise, we expect this new solution will help address the complexities of developing new oncology drugs.”
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