Some Texas teamwork

Houston company signs proteomic tech agreement with MD Anderson

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HOUSTON—With plans to bring new medicine products to the ovarian and breast cancer markets, BayPoint Biosystems Inc., a privately held personalized medicine company, announced a proteomic technology agreement with the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Under the terms of the agreement, BayPoint obtains exclusive, worldwide commercial rights to certain proteomic technologies as well as clinical biomarkers that predict therapeutic response for certain ovarian and breast cancers. Financial and other details of the agreement were not released.

"This is kind of an exciting new business model that a lot of people are trying to move into," says James Erickson, founder, president and CEO of BayPoint.

BayPoint develops and commercializes protein-based tests that will predict how an individual cancer patient will respond to treatment. BayPoint is currently developing predictive tests for ovarian cancer, hormone-dependent breast cancer, HER2-amplified breast cancer and triple receptor-negative breast cancer.

BayPoint rapidly and quantitatively measures flux through the signal transduction pathways known to be involved in cancer formation and progression. These pathways, such as the tyrosine kinase receptor family, MAP Kinases, PI3 Kinase, cell cycle, apoptosis and others are proving to be a rich source of biomarkers for oncology drug development. The proteomic platform that is part of the agreement quantifies certain proteins in a biopsy sample.

"BayPoint will take a biopsy sample of the tumor at diagnosis. This will be sent to the testing facility in Houston to analyze it based on a proprietary algorithm. We will then return the score to the patient and his or her doctor to analyze and determine whether the patient will be resistant to a particular therapy. What the patient and the doctor do with the results is entirely up to them," Erickson says.

BayPoint is developing a test to identify women who are resistant to platinum-based chemotherapy as a means to provide attending physicians with critical information to best manage their patients. BayPoint is also actively developing new tests that will predict how an individual tumor will respond to therapy as a means to match the patient with the most effective patient management strategy.

Dr. Gordon B. Mills, director of the Robert J. and Helen C. Kleberg Center for Molecular Markers at M. D. Anderson, says the cancer center is excited about the potential for protein-based markers to greatly improve patient management.

"The new relationship with BayPoint should help us achieve our goals of fulfilling the promise of personalized medicine benefiting our patients," Mills said.

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