The FDA has approved Qiagen’s plan to develop its therascreen diagnostic test as a companion diagnostic test for Boehringer Ingelheim’s lung cancer treatment, Gilotrif.
Qiagen specializes in the development of companion diagnostic tests that detect genetic mutations to help clinicians decide on the best course of action for patients suffering from diseases like cancer. It has received the FDA’s backing to expand the use of its therascreen technology as a companion diagnostic for Boehringer Ingelheim’s Gilotrif for the first-line treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
NSCLC makes up 80-85% of all lung cancers, a common cause of which is a mutation in the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene. This mutation causes uncontrolled cell division and the escape of cell death, allowing a tumor to develop. Qiagen’s kit claims to detect the most comprehensive selection of EGFR mutations, making it the perfect partner for Boehringer Ingelheim’s EGFR-targeted therapy.
Companion diagnostics are popular as they allow clinicians to offer personalized healthcare, testing whether a patient will respond well to a certain course of treatment and the best way to administer the therapy. Belgian biotech Biocartis is another company to have shaken hands on a companion diagnostics deal with a big pharma, this time Amgen. Both of these companies will have to keep an eye on the exciting liquid biopsies field, which is being led by ANGLE and its ‘sample to answer’ technology.
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