AstraZeneca has entered an extended research collaboration to use molecular diagnostics firm Myriad Genetics’ myChoice HRD Plus to identify advanced ovarian cancer patients who might benefit from maintenance treatment using Lynparza (olaparib) and Avastin (bevacizumab).

Lynparza (olaparib) is an oral poly ADP-ribose polymerase (PARP) inhibitor formulated to exploit tumour DNA damage response (DDR) pathway deficiencies to destroy cancer cells.

The drug is being co-developed and co-commercialised by AstraZeneca and Merck under a global strategic oncology alliance signed in July last year.

myChoice HRD Plus is a comprehensive homologous recombination deficiency test for the detection of loss of a tumour’s ability to repair breaks in double-stranded DNA.

The test includes loss of heterozygosity, telomeric allelic imbalance and large-scale state transition technologies, along with 90 additional genes and molecular markers.

“myChoice HRD Plus is the most comprehensive test for identifying defects in DNA repair pathways.”

Myriad will use the myChoice HRD Plus test to assess patients in an ongoing Phase III trial and identify participants with homologous recombination deficiencies (HRD).

Myriad Genetics chief scientific officer Jerry Lanchbury said: “myChoice HRD Plus is the most comprehensive test for identifying defects in DNA repair pathways.

“We are optimistic that myChoice HRD Plus will identify more women with ovarian cancer who could benefit from therapy with Lynparza than previous tests that only identify germline BRCA1/2 mutations.”

The new deal is part of an ongoing collaboration formed by the firm with AstraZeneca in 2007 for the development of a companion diagnostic test to detect individuals for treatment with olaparib.