AstraZeneca taps Roche, Qiagen for new blood-based cancer drug tests

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AstraZeneca taps Roche, Qiagen for new blood-based cancer drug testsLONDON – AstraZeneca has signed up Roche and Qiagen to develop two separate diagnostic tests, both using simple blood samples, to identify patients who benefit its lung cancer drugs.

Currently testing patients to see if their tumors contain genetic mutations that them suitable for drug involves collecting a sample of tissue by needle biopsy or during surgery.

The tests are based smart that can detect small fragments of circulating tumor DNA the plasma taken patients’ blood.[eap_ad_2]

The collaboration Qiagen involves developing such a test to accompany AstraZeneca’ established lung cancer pill Iressa, while the agreement Roche is for a companion diagnostic to go AstraZeneca’ experimental successor to Iressa called AZD9291.

AZD9291 targets a genetic mutation that helps tumors evade existing treatments and AstraZeneca believes could sell as much as $3 billion a year. The mutation, known as T790M, develops about half of lung cancers that become resistant to current epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitors like Iressa. (Reuters)[eap_ad_3]