OncoMethylome Sciences Grants Commercial License to LabCorp for MGMT Methylation Testing
News Mar 28, 2008
OncoMethylome Sciences and Laboratory Corporation of America® Holdings (LabCorp®) announced that OncoMethylome has granted LabCorp an exclusive license on certain IP technology to perform commercial MGMT methylation laboratory testing services in the United States and Canada subject to limited exceptions.
LabCorp’s Esoterix Clinical Trials Services Division was also selected by OncoMethylome as one of its preferred sub-contractors of MGMT methylation testing services for clinical trials. Under the terms of the agreement, OncoMethylome qualifies for an upfront fee, milestone payments, and royalties from LabCorp. Other terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
MGMT methylation has been shown to be a common event in many cancers and predictive of response to some cancer therapies. For example, MGMT methylation status has been shown to be a promising potential predictor of response to alkylating agent-based chemotherapies used to treat patients with malignant brain tumors, and therefore is of interest to oncologists who treat such patients. LabCorp plans to determine MGMT methylation status using Methylation-Specific PCR technology licensed from OncoMethylome Sciences.
Because of the potential for broader applications of this oncology marker, the evaluation of MGMT methylation is being integrated into numerous international clinical trials for patients with brain cancer and other cancers. The trials are conducted by organizations such as the U.S.-based Radiation Therapy Oncology Group (RTOG) and the European Organization for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC).
“This test is aligned with our focus on companion diagnostics and we are excited by the potential of the MGMT methylation test to help oncologists provide better patient care and guide therapy decisions. Laboratory tests for gene methylation are an important and differentiating addition to our menu of oncology services and allow us to offer a more complete package of services to oncologists and their patients,” commented Dr. Myla-Lai-Goldman, Executive Vice President, Medical Director and Chief Scientific Officer for LabCorp.
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.