Picking up a Chip

Signal Genetics acquires ChipDX, expands molecular diagnostics assets in oncology

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NEW YORK—Predicting genetic testing company Signal Geneticsrecently announced it will acquire the assets of ChipDX LLC to add diagnosticproducts in development for lung, breast and colon cancers.
Financial terms of the agreement have not been released.
Signal makes a prognostic test for multiple myeloma calledMyPRS Plus, and will use its sales team to bring ChipDX's products to market,the company said. ChipDX's BreastGeneDX, ColonGeneDX and LungGeneDX productsare designed to determine patients' cancer risk levels.
"The acquisition of the intellectual property and patents ofChipDX dramatically expands and enhances our oncology pipeline," SignalGenetics CEO Joe Hernandez says. "The addition of ChipDX's bioinformaticscapabilities drastically reduces our time to market with novel molecular testsdesigned to facilitate better patient outcomes at a lower cost profile." 
Hernandez says the transaction "adds innovative intellectualproperty, including patented prognostic tests for lung, breast and coloncancers, as well as additional biologics expertise and a web-based interface toSignal Genetics' oncology portfolio." 
ChipDX is a privately held molecular diagnostics andpersonalized medicine company based in New York. It was founded and iscurrently led by Dr. Ryan VanLaar, who will join Signal Genetics as the head ofits Bioinformatics division.
VanLaar says teaming up with Signal Genetics provides hiscompany with a vehicle to ultimately commercialize its strong portfolio ofpredictive molecular diagnostic tests.
"I look forward to leveraging the experience gained in thedevelopment of ChipDX to help Signal Genetics achieve its goals, and ultimatelyimprove patient outcomes," he adds.
Hernandez explains that Signal Genetics' forte is thedevelopment and commercialization of predictive and prognostic genomic testsfor the treatment of various types of cancer—and the acquisition of ChipDXenhances and complements the company's product portfolio.
"This acquisition is part of our strategy to build on ourproprietary, algorithm-based prognostic and predictive genetic tests on themarket and in development to expand our oncology portfolio," Hernandez says."Our objective is to provide crucial services for doctors to identify bestcourse of treatment for individual patients in our areas of focus, which nowinclude myeloma, colon, breast, lung and prostate—areas that make up a largeglobal market." 
With a solid footprint in oncology, ChipDX proved to be anattractive acquisition because of its work in various types of cancer,including most recently for its work on the BreastGeneDX prognostic test.
"We currently have two tests on the market and that arecovered by Medicare and private payers—MyPRS Plus, the only prognostic genomictest for multiple myeloma on the market, and Previstage GCC, an innovative testto determine if colon cancer is at an advanced stage and its likelihood ofrecurrence," he says. "With this transaction, Signal acquired additionaldiagnostic and prognostic tests in development for breast, colon and lungcancers (as well as related patents) that we believe offer great promise forcancer patients."
Signal Genetics will also acquire ChipDX's web-basedinterface, which will be used to enhance Signal's physician web portal andallow for remote interpretation of test algorithms.
Going forward, Hernandez says success of the acquisitionwill be gauged by the driving adoption of these innovative tests over time.
"We think there is an undeniable need to identify high riskpatients early on to aggressively target cancers," he says. "Our acquisition ofChipDX augments our clinically-driven bioinformatics capabilities, and willhelp us to facilitate better patient outcomes and more appropriate use offinancial resources."

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