Genzyme Corp. has announced that it has entered into a license agreement with Moffitt Cancer Center to obtain exclusive worldwide diagnostic testing rights to the discovery of the relationship of two proteins to patient response to non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) treatment.
The expression level of these proteins may help predict how these patients will respond to therapy. Genzyme Genetics' relationship with Moffitt broadens its lung cancer testing portfolio.
The expression levels of the two proteins, RRM1 and ERCC1, have been shown by Dr. Gerold Bepler, M.D., and his team from Moffitt, to correlate with patient response to platinum drugs and gemcitabine, both of which are commonly used in treating NSCLC.
Through this license, Genzyme plans to develop and market a diagnostic test that can be used to measure the expression levels of these proteins in NSCLC patients. This test may be used to guide first-line treatment for these patients, which in turn may improve patient outcomes while avoiding unnecessary side effects from ineffective treatment.
"In 2007, an estimated 30 percent of all cancer deaths will have been from lung cancer," said Dr. Bruce Horten, M.D., national medical director for Genzyme Genetics.
"Our agreement with the renowned Moffitt Cancer Center will enable Genzyme to develop and market a diagnostic test designed to assist physicians in identifying the appropriate first-line therapy for their NSCLC patients -- a key decision point in the management of patients for whom getting the right drug as quickly as possible is critical. A personalized medicine approach to treatment such as this has the potential to help patients lead longer, healthier lives."
"Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths in women than breast cancer and more deaths in men than prostate cancer," said Bepler, program leader of Moffitt's thoracic oncology program. "We hope this test will advance our fight against this disease and improve treatment options for patients."
Under the license agreement, Genzyme has agreed to pay Moffitt when various milestones are reached and provide Moffitt with running royalties on the sales of licensed services and products.