Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) has entered an agreement with the Netherlands-based molecular diagnostics developer Qiagen for the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to develop gene expression profiles (GEPs).
The firms plan to utilise the GEPs as predictive or prognostic tools with BMS’ new immuno-oncology (I-O) therapies for the treatment of cancer.
The partnership will leverage BMS’ I-O therapies in combination with Qiagen’s NGS technologies, and its expertise in development and commercialisation of companion and complementary diagnostics.
BMS Oncology development head Fouad Namouni said: “Greater precision in the treatment of cancer may enable faster decision-making to identify which patient populations are most likely to derive benefit from our immuno-oncology agents.
“We believe working with Qiagen will help develop better diagnostic tools to target the most appropriate immunotherapies across a number of different tumour types.”
Initially, the firms intend to develop GEPs for various BMS I-O molecules, with plans for a further agreement to use the GEPs for developing new diagnostic products, as well as to extend the use of NGS technology for other BMS I-O therapies.
Qiagen CEO Peer Schatz said: “Our teams at QIAGEN are looking forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to leverage the power of NGS technology to potentially improve outcomes for patients.”
BMS and Qiagen have been collaborating since 2009, while their Therascreen KRAS companion/complementary diagnostic assay secured approval from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2012.