SALT LAKE CITY -- Myriad Genetics, Inc. has announced an expanded companion diagnostics research collaboration with AbbVie, Inc. to support the development of veliparib, AbbVie's investigational PARP inhibitor. Per the terms of the deal, AbbVie will apply Myriad's CDx portfolio — myChoice HRD and new tumor tests —in order to help identify patients with non-small cell lung cancer who are likely to respond to treatment with the combination of veliparib and chemotherapy. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. This expanded agreement builds on an existing companion diagnostic research collaboration established between the companies in November 2014; in that deal, Myriad has been working with AbbVie to support Phase 3 clinical studies of veliparib for patients diagnosed with breast cancer or ovarian cancer.
"As a company committed to innovation in the field of oncology, this collaboration with AbbVie enables us to use our proprietary companion diagnostics to advance care for patients with lung cancer," Jerry Lanchbury, chief scientific officer at Myriad Genetics, said in a press release. "If we are successful, our companion diagnostics will identify more patients who may benefit from treatment with the combination of veliparib and chemotherapy."
AbbVie's veliparib is an investigational oral poly (adenosine diphosphate [ADP]—ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitor being assessed in a variety of tumor types. PARP is a naturally occurring enzyme in the body involved in the repair of DNA damage to cells, and veliparib is being investigated in combination with DNA-damaging therapies such as chemotherapy or radiation. The compound is currently being evaluated in multiple cancers and tumor types, including Phase 3 studies in advanced non-small cell lung cancer and breast cancer.
In other partnering news, Myriad also announced this week that it had begun a strategic research collaboration with TESARO and Merck & Co., known as MSD outside the U.S. and Canada, to identify potential responders to an investigational combination drug therapy using TESARO's PARP inhibitor niraparib plus KEYTRUDA, Merck's anti-PD-1 therapy. Per the agreement, the companies will leverage Myriad's myChoice HRD test and new tumor tests to evaluate treatment response in a clinical trial evaluating the combination of niraparib plus pembrolizumab in patients with triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer. No financial terms were released. Myriad and TESARO have been collaborating since March 2014, using the myChoice HRD test to identify ovarian cancer patients who may respond to niraparib, which is in Phase 3 clinical development.
"The combination of a PARP inhibitor and anti-PD-1 antibody may offer a novel way to treat women with triple negative breast cancer or ovarian cancer," Dr. Mary Lynne Hedley, president and chief operating officer of TESARO, said of the deal. "Our goal is to use Myriad's assays to help enrich for those patients who will respond to the treatment and have the best chance for success."
SOURCE: Myriad press release