Abbott (Abbott Park, IL, USA) will expand its existing agreement with GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals (GSK; Brentford, United Kingdom) to include the development of an additional companion diagnostic test for a cancer immunotherapy antigen.
The existing agreements between the two companies focused on the development of PCR tests to screen non-small-cell lung cancer and melanoma tumors for expression of the MAGE-A3 antigen. MAGE-A3 is a tumor-specific antigen that is expressed in a large variety of cancers, including melanoma, non-small-cell lung, head and neck, and bladder cancer, with no expression in normal cells. Expression of the MAGE-A3 gene has been observed in testicular cells but without antigen presentation capabilities.
Under the expanded agreement, Abbott will develop a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test for use on the Abbott m2000rt instrument to screen non-small-cell lung cancer tumors for expression of the PRAME antigen. PRAME is a preferentially expressed antigen of melanoma that is expressed in 69 % of non-small-cell lung cancer cases, as well as in a wide variety of cancer types, including melanoma, breast, ovarian, and bladder cancer, with limited expression in normal cells.
Abbott is a pioneer in the use of molecular tests based on PCR and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technologies to aid clinicians in the selection of appropriate pharmacogenomic therapies.
GSK’s Antigen Specific Cancer Immunotherapy Program (ASCI) is investigated in the clinic to support their use to reduce the risk of tumor recurrence following surgery, or to impact tumor growth in an early metastatic setting. The highly specific mode of action of GSK’s ASCIs allows development of diagnostic tools to aid in selecting patients eligible for the treatment, depending on the expression of the tumor antigens.