RUTHERFORD, N.J.—Cancer Genetics Inc. (CGI), which sees itself as an emerging leader in DNA-based cancer diagnostics, has been selected by AstraZeneca CAMCAR S.A. (AZ-CAMCAR)—a division of U.K.-based multinational pharmaceutical and biologics company AstraZeneca that serves Central American and Caribbean countries—to provide biomarker-based diagnostic testing for cancer.
As such, the terms of the agreement call for CGI to perform complex testing for diagnosis and prognosis of cancer patients in Central America and the Caribbean, and CGI will work “in close conjunction” with AZ-CAMCAR to explore expansion opportunities into additional geographic territories as the companies look to work on select oncology trials and perhaps discover additional oncology categories.
“We chose to partner with Cancer Genetics in this endeavor because of their experience in biomarker-based diagnostic testing and their commitment to delivering timely and accurate results to healthcare professionals and patients,” said Rodrigo Fernandez, country president of AZ-CAMCAR.
“Partnering with AstraZeneca further strengthens our ability to touch the lives of patients globally,” added Panna Sharma, CEO of CGI. “We believe our ability to provide accurate, state-of-the-art biomarker-based testing was a key factor in AstraZeneca’s decision to partner with us and serves as a testament to the growing global awareness of the value of our brand. We are committed to positively impacting cancer care globally, and this relationship serves as another major milestone in fulfilling that mission.”
Although the companies expect to deal with multiple categories in the oncology arena, lung cancer is the initial area of focus. According to the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), lung cancer is the third most common cancer and the leading cause of cancer deaths in the Americas, with more than 300,000 new cases and nearly 250,000 deaths each year. PAHO expects the number of new cases and deaths from lung cancer to double in Latin America by 2030.
CGI’s tests target cancers that are, as the company notes, “difficult to diagnose and predict treatment outcomes. These cancers include hematological, urogenital and HPV-associated cancers.” The company also offers a comprehensive range of non-proprietary oncology-focused tests and laboratory services that provide critical genomic information to healthcare professionals, as well as biopharma and biotech companies.
In other recent CGI news, the company noted June 3 that that it had entered into a multiyear agreement to collaborate and provide PathAdvantage, a “leading Southwest gynecological pathology lab” in the United States, with a FISH-based genomic test called FHACT for the detection and management of cervical cancer, intended to guide the detection and management of the disease.
The collaboration is aimed at the “rapidly growing metro Dallas and North Texas market,” and PathAdvantge will incorporate the genomic test as part of its comprehensive focus on gynecological cancers.
“The FHACT test meets a significant unmet need in cervical cancer care,” said Sharma in the announcement of the deal. “Many women in the United States and around the world are undergoing invasive procedures that may be unnecessary, time-consuming and costly because no test has previously existed to identify the lesions that are likely to progress to cervical cancer. Our collaboration with PathAdvantage is an important step in making this test more widely available and we hope will provide a tremendous service in increasing timely diagnosis while potentially lowering costs.”
“We pride ourselves in being at the forefront of quality gynecologic pathology,” said Dr. Alexandra Gillespie, medical director at PathAdvantage. “Our collaboration with Cancer Genetics on the FHACT test gives our clients and their patients an important edge in the management and treatment of HPV-related cervical cancers by identifying the high-risk, HPV-positive patient population that are likely to progress to severe dysplasia and beyond.”
The collaboration with PathAdvantage is part of CGI’s strategy of partnering with regional testing providers in order to commercialize the FHACT test.