SAN FRANCISCO—CollabRx, Inc. and Affymetrix, Inc. have struck an agreement to optimize the use of CollabRx’s Genetic Variant Annotation (GVA) Service in conjunction with Affymetrix’ OncoScan FFPE Assay Kit and CytoScan Cytogenetics Suite to aid in analyzing gene copy number variation in cancer research. The partners will seek to empower the GVA Service to accept and process copy number variation data directly from OncoScan assays and CytoScan assays to provide scientific knowledge for biomarker copy number variation profiles in cancer. This solution will seek to combine data from a variety of comprehensive genetic profiling studies, such as somatic mutations from next-generation sequencing technologies, with copy number from the OncoScan assay (for solid tumors) or the CytoScan assay (for liquid tumors).
“We are pleased to partner with Affymetrix, an industry-leading provider of genomic analysis systems that support translational research to advance routine care of cancer patients,” Thomas Mika, chairman, president and CEO of CollabRx, said in a press release. “Enabling a seamless integration between Affymetrix CNV platforms and the CollabRx GVA Service will provide translational researchers with key insights into the clinical significance of integrated cancer panels. This partnership will both complement our commercial activities and help to advance the science and medicine in cancer research, a shared goal of both companies.”
Both of Affymetrix' assays are highly sensitive tests for detecting genome-wide copy number changes in tumors. The OncoScan assay makes use of Molecular Inversion Probe technology, which interrogates 40 base pairs of DNA and is the only assay specifically optimized to analyze copy number in FFPE samples. The CytoScan assay enables the analysis of copy number changes in hematological malignancies.
CollabRx’s GVA Service is a highly scalable, cloud-based electronic decision support system that offers a turn-key analysis of several types of genetic alterations in cancer, taking genetic data from any source or platform and combining it with information in a knowledge base that includes the clinical impact of specific genetic profiles.
“Recent data from The Cancer Genome Atlas has revealed the existence of copy number-driven ‘C’ class tumors, such as in breast, ovarian and squamous cell lung cancers, and established the clinical relevance of several copy number amplifications and deletions. Our partnership with CollabRx will leverage our mutual commitment to provide easily accessible and authoritative informatics solutions to enable researchers to integrate copy number information with somatic mutation information in an automated and standardized way for comprehensive genetic profiling in cancer research,” Andy Last, chief operating officer at Affymetrix, commented in a statement. “CollabRx has developed a scalable technology platform that provides a dynamically updated knowledge base that is informed by leading cancer experts and is supported by published medical and scientific data. This capability is essential for clinical research laboratories who wish to fully support cancer research for optimal patient care.”
This is the second cancer agreement announced by CollabRx so far this month. Two weeks prior, the company announced the establishment of a multi-year agreement with the nonprofit biomedical research institution The Jackson Laboratory (JAX). Under the agreement, medical and scientific knowledge from CollabRx will be incorporated into the results of genetic sequencing-based oncology tests from JAX, which will make use of CollabRx’s knowledge base in molecular medicine to ensure the latest data is available to physicians to help interpret test results and support treatment plans.