To help predict the likelihood that patients will respond to certain anti-cancer drugs, so-called companion diagnostics have been developed. In late June, Almac Diagnostics entered into an agreement with OncoMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. a clinical-stage company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics targeting cancer stem cells (CSCs). The purpose of the collaboration is to develop a companion diagnostic test to help predict the therapeutic advantage of OncoMed?s novel therapeutic which targets R-Spondin 3 (RSPO3). Anti-RSPO3 (OMP-13R10) has demonstrated activity in preclinical models against a variety of major tumour types, including colon, lung and ovarian cancers.


…[Our] companion diagnostic development program is a significant milestone in our work together and helps Almac achieve its goal of advancing human health globally…


Almac and OncoMed are currently developing a gene expression RSPO3 CLIA assay that can be used to prospectively select patients in the clinical development of anti-RSPO3. OncoMed has filed an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for anti-RSPO3 with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and a Phase 1a clinical trial is due to commence in summer 2015.

?This companion diagnostic development program is a significant milestone in our work together and helps Almac achieve its goal of advancing human health globally,? said Professor Paul Harkin, President of Almac?s Diagnostic business unit.

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?Anti-RSPO3 will be OncoMed?s seventh proprietary candidate to enter clinical testing. In preclinical studies, we see a close correlation between RSPO3 biomarkers and potent anti-tumour activity and we are pleased to collaborate with Almac on the development of a CLIA-validated companion diagnostic assay to support our clinical development efforts.? said John Lewicki, Ph.D., OncoMed?s Chief Scientific Officer.

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Last editorial review: June 23, 2015

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