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Empire Genomics Licenses First Known DNA Biomarker for Multiple Myeloma

Published: Thursday, November 29, 2012
Last Updated: Thursday, November 29, 2012
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Detection of gene abnormalities may help patients and physicians determine the best approach to treatment, improve survival rate and lower treatment costs.

Empire Genomics announced it has acquired an exclusive license for patent pending novel genomic biomarkers from Emory University for use in developing a molecular diagnostic test that could help satisfy a large unmet medical need in determining ideal therapeutic treatment for multiple myeloma patients.

Recent data point to certain genetic biomarkers that may identify which patients would benefit from receiving treatment with the various therapies opposed to those that receive no benefit. The team is embarking in a phase II biomarker driven clinical trial using this technology to validate its power to predict outcomes in new generations of MM drugs.

"Developing a clinically validated multiple myeloma cancer theranostic assay with informative data would represent a major breakthrough in improving disease management," said Leon Bernal-Mizrachi, M.D., Assistant Professor of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Emory University School of Medicine "It would fulfill an unmet medical need to help patients with multiple myeloma better plan treatment options that will help produce the best outcomes."

Multiple myeloma accounts for approximately 10% of blood based cancers, with an estimated 21,700 new cases and 10,710 deaths in the US in 2012. Multiple myeloma is a malignant blood cell cancer that is increasing in frequency in today's aging population. While advances in therapeutic treatments have improved the response rate, there are significant side effects to these very costly treatments.

Empire Genomics is commercializing a genetic test for multiple myeloma that will guide treatments and reduce health care costs, while sparing patients the negative consequences of treatments that may not be effective. This new diagnostic test will be the first DNA biomarker test to direct treatment of multiple myeloma. Empire will explore the use of this biomarker in lymphoma patients as well.

"This is a meaningful breakthrough in the area of personalized medicine and we are excited to work with Emory University and Dr. Bernal-Mizrachi to bring it to the market to help oncologists make more informed treatment decisions for this dreadful disease," said Anthony Johnson, CEO of Empire Genomics.

Empire Genomics, a leader in field of personalized medicine, will use this test and others in development to continue to support and accelerate clinical trials and the creation of cancer companion diagnostics for therapies. It is expected that this test will be employed in clinical trials in the future as well as launched through clinical labs in early 2013.

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