Diaceutics and London Genetics to develop software for biomarker studies

New product to be launched in 2011 will be based on the Diaceutics Fusion and London Genetics Biomarker Pathway platforms

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LONDON—Diaceutics, a developer of decision tools to help with issues arising from personalized medicine and theranostics, and London Genetics, a company that uses pharmacogenetics in clinical drug discovery and development, have announced a strategic partnership to develop software decision tools.

Specifically, the two firms have set their sites on providing software next year that will provide biopharmaceutical companies with "rapid and extensive access to the world's leading academic biomarker research groups." The product will bring together the Diaceutics Fusion platform, a personalized medicine planning software application for targeted therapy development teams, and the London Genetics Biomarker Pathway platform. In so doing, the companies will reportedly enable commercial biomarker research teams to comprehensively explore global biomarker resources to identify genes and gene sequences—and the researchers and clinicians relevant to their targeted therapy research.

According to the companies, "The tools to be developed under the strategic partnership will allow research teams to build biomarker hypotheses, request expressions of interest and prepare proposals for clinical development."

The expressions of interest—requesting access to patient samples and investigator networks—would be sent to academic biomarker research teams globally, including London Genetics's own network of more than 3,000 investigators in a variety of therapeutic areas and technology disciplines.

According to officials at Diaceutics, this will help organizations rapidly identify potential partners and speed the pace of collaborative projects.

"This strategic alliance with Diaceutics fits closely with our overall goal to expedite pharmacogenetic and biomarker partnerships between industry and academia for more effective targeted drug development," says Dominique Kleyn, CEO of London Genetics.

In fact, just over a year ago, London Genetics held a pharmacogenetic conference during which the company came to recognize that while pharmacogenetics and genetics have great potential in helping the biopharmaceutical industry overcome its many challenges, early clinical collaboration between companies, academia, regulators and payers is now needed more than ever before.

As such, London Genetics set itself on a course to pursue an "intensive partnering program" to push pharmacogenomics—and the company itself—forward more aggressively.

"By working with us throughout the drug development process, biopharmaceutical companies will gain the value of the pharmacogenetics expertise they need to increase productivity, as well as drug safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness," Kleyn says. "Recent deals in the sector provide evidence of the growing enthusiasm in this area, and London Genetics is offering practical and concrete support to help companies realize value from it."

Because pharmacogenetics is the study of how our genetic makeup affects the way in which we metabolize and respond to drugs, it will likely play a key role in the future of drug development efforts, Kleyn says, particularly as companies face increasing pressure to replenish their pipelines and improve drug safety.

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