AstraZeneca, Illumina Form Pact for Companion Diagnostics
AstraZeneca has formed a collaboration with the gene-sequencing company, Illumina, Inc., to develop its next generation sequencing (NGS) platform for companion diagnostic tests applicable across AstraZeneca's oncology portfolio. AstraZeneca intends to apply Illumina's technology to a novel companion diagnostic test in pivotal studies for one of its investigational oncology compounds.
Illumina's NGS technology allows rapid sequencing of multiple genes in a much faster and cheaper way than traditional DNA sequencing methods, according to information from AstraZeneca. Under the collaboration, it will be used to screen a panel of several gene sequences, scanning for all possible genetic variantsâ€”known and unknownâ€”rather than specified mutations from a single tumor sample. The information obtained from sequencing full genes will be used to predict which patients will respond to certain treatments and will go through appropriate regulation.
The pact with Illumina is the third diagnostic collaboration formed by AstraZeneca this year. It had earlier announced separate agreements with Roche and Qiagen to develop tests that analyze the DNA from lung cancer patients' tumors circulating in their blood to determine their epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) mutation status.
See related story, “AstraZeneca Forms Pacts with Roche, Qiagen for Companion Diagnostics”