Schering-Plough Corporation and Oncomethylome Sciences have announced a collaboration and license agreement for Schering-Plough to utilize assay technology from Oncomethylome Sciences that measures the methylation status of the MGMT gene in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a form of malignant brain cancer, treated with temodar® (temozolomide).
Under the collaboration, the DNA methylation status of the MGMT gene is being evaluated for its potential role in optimizing TEMODAR therapy in patients with GBM brain cancer.
"While the clinical benefit of TEMODAR is well established for the treatment of certain types of brain tumors, we hope these pharmacogenomic technologies will help to expand our understanding of how to optimize TEMODAR therapy and support efforts to achieve improved clinical outcomes for these patients," said Robert J. Spiegel, M.D., chief medical officer and senior vice president, medical affairs, Schering-Plough Research Institute.
Under the terms of the agreement, Schering-Plough receives a worldwide, non-exclusive license from Oncomethylome Sciences to use its pharmacogenomic assays and technology to evaluate methylation status of the MGMT gene in GBM patients treated with TEMODAR.
The collaboration will initially focus on GBM brain cancer, with the possibility to expand the scope to other types of cancers and, potentially, other Schering-Plough products.
Oncomethylome Sciences will receive an upfront license payment, milestone payments and sample processing fees from Schering-Plough.
"The collaboration with Schering-Plough offers the potential to enhance the applicability of established cancer drugs," said Herman Spolders, chief executive officer of Oncomethylome Sciences.
"In addition, the agreement demonstrates the value of our patented technology in personalized medicine applications."