Siemens Forges Companion Dx Deals with ViiV Healthcare and Tocagen

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics closed two collaborative deals with pharmaceutical companies, ViiV Healthcare and Tocagen, in an effort to propel the company into the companion diagnostics market space. "Siemens's presence in the emerging companion diagnostics market enables us to leverage our innovation capabilities and deep clinical knowledge to help improve pharmaceutical drug safety and effectiveness," said Michael Reitermann, CEO of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics. "More so, it helps align Siemens with new classes of therapies tailored to the individual that hold the promise of improving patient care and delivering on the goal of personalized medicine." The collaboration with ViiV Healthcare will concentrate on clinical trials related to Celsentri/Selzentry (maraviroc), ViiV Healthcare's novel CCR5 co-receptor antagonist for the treatment of CCR5-tropic HIV. Meanwhile, the Siemens partnership with Tocagen will focus on developing diagnostic tests to support clinical trials related to Tocagen's unique viral gene therapy (Toca 511 & Toca FC) under investigation for the treatment of primary brain cancer.

BD Diagnostics Buys KIESTRA Lab Automation BV

BD Diagnostics acquired Kiestra Lab Automation BV, a Netherlands-based company that designs, develops, manufactures, markets, and sells innovative lab automation solutions for microbiology labs, in an effort to expand its portfolio of automated instrumentation technologies. The acquisition will enable BD Diagnostics to offer innovative total lab automation solutions to hospitals and labs worldwide. "The combination of BD's broad portfolio of microbiology platforms, reagents and supplies with Kiestra's automated instrumentation technologies will enable us to offer a more comprehensive microbiology lab solution to hospitals and laboratories worldwide," said Jamie Condie, vice president and general manager of BD Diagnostics.

Abbott and GenLab Developing Diagnostic Test for Orthopedic Infections

Abbott and Genetics Laboratory (GenLab) finalized a deal to develop a molecular diagnostic test that rapidly detects microorganisms causing orthopedic infections. The deal calls for Abbott, in conjunction with GenLab, to develop and commercialize the new assay for use on the PLEX-ID automated microbial identification system. "A molecular diagnostic test designed to detect microorganisms that cause orthopedic infections, running on the PLEX-ID, could have the ability to determine which pathogens are responsible for an infection while assessing the genetic composition and potentially antibiotic resistance," said Dr. Gerhard Maale, the medical director for the Abbott-GenLab collaboration.

Cynvenio to Develop CTC-based Tests with SBIR Awards

Cynvenio Biosystems, Inc. will use two Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) contracts from the National Cancer Institute to develop novel lung cancer tests based on the isolation of mutation-bearing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from whole blood. Cynvenio will use the first SBIR contract to develop a liquid biopsy blood test and a companion diagnostic device that isolates CTCs from the peripheral blood of lung cancer patients and identifies the DNA mutations associated with an individual's disease. The second contract will fund the development of a CTC-based test to measure resistance to drugs in lung cancer patients.

Signal Genetics Acquires ChipDx

Signal Genetics closed a deal to purchase ChipDx, a molecular diagnostics company, for an undisclosed amount. The arrangement calls for Signal to acquire all of ChipDx's assets, including its patents for prognostic tests for lung, breast, and colon cancers. Signal is also purchasing all diagnostic and prognostic tests under development by ChipDx. "The addition of ChipDx's bioinformatics capabilities dramatically reduces our time to market with novel molecular tests designed to facilitate better patient outcomes at a lower cost profile," said Joe Hernandez, president and CEO of Signal Genetics.

Health Discovery and NeoGenomics Close Cancer Testing License Deal

Health Discovery signed an agreement to license some of its biomarker-based testing tools for hematopoietic and solid tumor cancers to NeoGenomics. The deal calls for NeoGenomics to commercialize laboratory-developed tests based on Health Discovery's technologies for a wide range of cancer types. However, Health Discovery retains the rights to in vitro diagnostic test development, and its pre-existing licenses remain in effect. According to Health Discovery, the deal includes tests for prostate, pancreatic, and colon cancers, and cytogenenetics and flow cytometry software systems.

Roche Teams with Technoclone to Expand Diagnostic Portfolio

Roche forged a strategic deal with Technoclone, a reagent specialist in thrombosis and cardiovascular diagnostics, to co-develop a complete range of coagulation assays. The collaboration is part of Roche's plans to develop a new line of coagulation analyzers for hospital and reference labs, which will be marketed under Roche's cobas brand. "Technoclone brings considerable industry expertise to this collaboration, and the company shares our goal of bringing improved medical value to healthcare providers and patients," said Randy Pritchard, vice president of marketing for Roche. "The expansion of the reagent menu into key areas of hemostasis will greatly enhance the new line of laboratory coagulation analyzers in development and will open up new opportunities for research related to targeted treatment and personalized healthcare." The new line of assays is expected to launch in the U.S. in 2014.

LabMD Finalizes Deal to Distribute Mitomics Prostate Test

Mitomics, a developer of mitochondrial genome-based products, inked a non-exclusive deal with LabMD to market its Prostate Core Mitomic Test in the U.S. The test is based on mitochondrial DNA and detects a biomarker that indicates the presence of cancerous cells in prostate biopsy tissue. "This agreement supports our ongoing strategy to expand access to our prostate cancer testing technology through strategic collaborations as well as through direct sales by our field force," said Robert Poulter, president and CEO of Mitomics.

Dako Signs CDx Agreement with Amgen

Dako signed an agreement with Amgen to develop a companion diagnostic test for an investigational cancer therapy currently in clinical development. "This new collaboration with Amgen underlines Dako's commitment to advance personalized medicine in cancer treatment as the selection of patients most likely to benefit from a specific treatment will increase the probability of therapeutic success for cancer patients," said Lars Holmkvist, CEO of Dako. The deal comes on the heels of another agreement between the two companies announced in January in which Dako will develop a companion diagnostic for an Amgen drug for an undisclosed cancer.