Cepheid, Knight Cancer Institute embark on collaboration

Organizations to develop a collection of advanced molecular diagnostics

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SUNNYVALE, Calif.—Cepheid, a manufacturer and developer ofmicrofluidics and microelectronics technologies for DNA analysis, has announceda collaboration with the Knight Cancer Institute at Oregon Health & ScienceUniversity (OHSU) to develop an offering of advanced molecular diagnostics tobe performed on Cepheid's GeneXpert system. The partners will focus ondeveloping clinical oncology tests for the molecular diagnostics system as wellas a system for clinically validating the tests through the Knight DiagnosticLaboratories, a division of the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU.
The agreementincludes an exclusive license to OHSU intellectually property in prostatecancer as well as intellectual property co-developed by Lawrence BerkeleyNational Laboratory and OHSU in breast cancer. In addition, the KnightDiagnostic Laboratories will have an option to develop Laboratory DevelopedTests that make up the multiplexed gene expression signatures that will be usedon the GeneXpert system. No financial details were released.
"Forming an alliance with one of the world's most innovativeclinical test leaders represents an important opportunity for OHSU to explorehow it can leverage its expertise in cancer and other disease research todevelop more advanced diagnostic tools," J. Timothy Stout, M.D., Ph.D. andM.B.A., vice president of Technology Transfer and Business Development at OHSU,said in a press release. "We are particularly interested in Cepheid'stechnology, because it makes sophisticated testing more cost efficient andallows for fast turnaround times, which can make a large difference inimproving the delivery of health care."
The initial projects will build on research previouslyconducted at the Knight Cancer Institute to improve molecular testing to makesure patients are receiving the ideal treatment for their tumor's biology. Thepartners will begin with a focus on breast and prostate cancers, includingtests such as Xpert Breast Cancer Signature, a diagnostic test for predictingrecurrence risk in newly diagnosed patients, and Xpert Prostate CancerRecurrence Risk, a diagnostic test for predicting the recurrence risk inpatients following surgery.
"Cepheid is honored to be working with Dr. Gray and hiscolleagues at OHSU with the goal of making their impressive scientificdiscoveries in the field of oncology and personalized medicine widely availableto physicians for the benefit of their patients," David Persing, M.D., Ph.D.,chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid, said in a statement. "We lookforward to partnering with OHSU to add a number of high impact oncology teststo the Xpert portfolio, delivering the most advanced diagnostic solutions forcancer patients while also achieving the accuracy, reproducibility, rapidturn-around-time and cost-effectiveness that characterize the GeneXpertplatform."
Joe W. Gray, Ph.D., associate director of TranslationalResearch for the Knight Cancer Institute at OHSU, and Michael Bates, M.D vicepresident of Oncology Research and Development for Cepheid, will be leading theresearch. 
"Prostate and breast cancer are the two most commonlyoccurring cancers in the United States and, together with Cepheid, we aredetermined to develop reliable, rapid and inexpensive diagnostic assays thatare readily available to physicians and their patients," said Gray, who alsoserves as director of the OHSU Center for Spatial Systems Biomedicine. "As moreinformation emerges about the molecular abnormalities that determine tumorbehavior, we will be able to develop assays for the Xpert system that willallow us to identify and more precisely treat the most lethal forms of breastand prostate cancer, while sparing others from unnecessary treatments."
SOURCE: Cepheid press release

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