Celera Enters Oncology Research Collaboration with Merck to Develop Pharmacogenomic Tests
News Sep 17, 2007
Celera, an Applera Corporation business, has entered into a research collaboration with Merck & Co., Inc., to develop biomarker and pharmacogenomic tests for cancer patients.
Under the terms of the agreement, Celera will evaluate the use of certain gene expression profiles identified by Merck with the goal of developing diagnostic predictors for use in Merck’s clinical trials, and to potentially form the basis for commercial companion diagnostic tests for oncology therapies.
Celera will receive an undisclosed payment for this collaboration, which is expected to be completed by the end of Celera’s fiscal 2008. Celera would be eligible for an additional payment should Merck decide to transfer a Celera validated gene expression assay to a clinical reference laboratory upon completion.
“This collaboration with Merck is a strong validation of Celera’s diagnostic expertise in targeted medicine and our development capabilities,” said Thomas White, Ph.D., chief scientific officer at Celera. “The potential outcomes from this collaboration could lead to the development of tests that may improve individualized therapy for the treatment of cancer.”
In treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians can have a hard time telling which newly diagnosed patients have a high risk of severe inflammation or what therapies will be most effective. Now researchers report finding an epigenetic signature in patient cells that appears to predict inflammation risk in a serious type of IBD called Crohn’s disease.