DxS enters pact with Pfizer

Pfizer and DxS, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qiagen have entered into an agreement to develop a comp

Financial terms of the diagnostic agreement have not been disclosed. Earlier, on April 16, 2008, Pfizer and Celldex Therapeutics (Celldex) have entered into an agreement to grant Pfizer an exclusive worldwide license to PF-04948568 (CDX-110) which is currently in Phase 2 clinical development for the treatment of newly diagnosed GBM.

Pfizer's investigational drug PF-04948568 (CDX-110) is a peptide vaccine which targets the tumor-specific Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor variant III (EGFRvIII). The Qiagen assay is designed to identify those patients whose tumors express the EGFRvIII mutation, allowing for the possibility of more targeted and personalised treatment.

Reportedly, the EGFRvIII companion diagnostic will be developed and manufactured at Qiagen's Center of Excellence for Companion Diagnostics in Manchester. The diagnostic will be a real-time PCR assay used to detect EGFRvIII RNA in tumor tissue. The assay is designed to offer a simple workflow, which supports its clinical utility in routine mutation testing.

Stephen Little, vice president of personalized healthcare at Qiagen, said: "We are very pleased to have signed this agreement with Pfizer, as it is another important step toward the realisation of personalised medicine. Qiagen is aligned to deliver companion diagnostics to our pharmaceutical partners and this deal is further evidence of our commitment to develop our scientific and operational capabilities to help select the right patient for the right medicine."

Garry Nicholson, president and general manager of the Oncology Business Unit at Pfizer, said: "We look forward to collaborating with Qiagen's DxS unit in the development of this important diagnostic tool that could potentially help physicians better define the most appropriate treatment for patients who suffer from glioblastoma multiforme."