Tucson, Ariz., April 3, 2014 - Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. (Ventana), a member of the Roche Group, today announced that it has entered into an agreement with Genmab A/S, Copenhagen, Denmark for the development of companion diagnostic tools for Genmab's HuMax®-TF-ADC antibody drug conjugate (ADC) program. As part of the agreement, Ventana will provide its expertise and services towards the development of an immunohistochemistry (IHC) companion diagnostic test for the detection of tissue factor (TF) in patient tumor samples. The TF assay will be developed for possible designation as the screening test in clinical trials involving HuMax®-TF-ADC.
"We are pleased to work with Genmab to develop a companion diagnostic for HuMax®-TF-ADC," says Mara G. Aspinall, President, Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. "This agreement is in 100% alignment with our CDx strategy and our ever-growing lineup of global pharma partnerships designed to bring promising therapies to market faster to improve the lives of cancer patients."
Companion diagnostics (CDx) are tests designed to confirm the presence of a specific biomarker and assist clinicians in selecting effective therapies for their patients. Incorporating a companion diagnostic strategy into a drug development program may expedite the approval process and may help generate more effective drugs with improved safety profiles for patients.
Since 2002 Ventana has worked with more than 45 biopharmaceutical partners and is currently engaged in more than 180 collaborative projects to develop and commercialize companion diagnostics globally. The company has a global install base of over 10,000 automated platforms that run advanced cancer diagnostic tests to benefit patients.
About Antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs)
Antibody conjugation to potent cytotoxic drugs is a promising way to increase efficacy and reduce systemic toxicity of drugs by targeting them selectively to tumor tissue. The antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) are comprised of three distinctive features: an antibody, a cytotoxic drug (toxophore) and a linker, which give ADCs their characteristic properties. The monoclonal antibody is able to recognize surface proteins selectively over-expressed on cancer cells. This targeting ability allows the ADCs to deliver its cytotoxic payload, the toxophore, right into the tumor. Here, after internalization and release, the toxophore interferes with intracellular processes leading to the programmed death of the tumor cells. The linkers are designed to keep the toxic agent attached to the antibody until the target cancer cell is reached. The targeted nature of ADCs to specific tumor surface proteins or antigens make them good candidates for co-development with the VENTANA immunohistochemistry-based companion diagnostic assays that measure those antigens.
About Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc. ("VMSI") (SIX: RO, ROG; OTCQX: RHHBY), a member of the Roche Group, innovates and manufactures instruments and reagents that automate tissue processing and slide staining for cancer diagnostics. VENTANA products are used in clinical histology, pathology and drug development research laboratories worldwide. The company's intuitive, integrated staining, workflow management platforms, and digital pathology solutions optimize laboratory efficiencies to reduce errors, support diagnosis and inform treatment decisions for anatomic pathology professionals. Together with Roche, VMSI is driving Personalized Healthcare through accelerated drug discovery and the development of "companion diagnostics" to identify the patients most likely to respond favorably to specific therapies.
VMSI Media Relations
Senior Director, Corporate Communications
Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.
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e-mail: Jacquie Bucher