Dako joins up with Ono to develop cancer companion Dx

Agilent Diagnostics and Genomics president Jacob Thaysen

Denmark's Dako is teaming up with Ono Pharmaceutical to develop a test for Ono and Bristol-Myers Squibb's ($BMY) drug for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), Opdivo, adding to its tally of companion diagnostics partnerships and gaining more ground in the field.

Both sides are staying mum on financial details, but Dako, now owned by Agilent Technologies ($A), will help create a companion diagnostic test to identify which patients are a good fit for Ono and BMS' investigational cancer treatment. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, and Opdivo, a PD-1 inhibitor, blocks a mechanism cancer cells use to escape detection by the body's immune system.

"We are pleased to be chosen as Ono's partner for the development of a companion diagnostic test for this promising drug. Today's announcement follows several other collaborative agreements in the companion diagnostics area by Agilent's Dako business," Jacob Thaysen, president of Agilent's Diagnostics and Genomics group, said in a statement.

Dako has been on a companion diagnostics roll since Agilent scooped up the company in 2012 for $2.2 billion, inking deals to expand its market footprint. In January 2013, the company said it would join forces with Eli Lilly ($LLY) to develop tests for the drugmaker's pipeline cancer treatments.

Last year, Dako teamed up with Merck ($MRK) to create companion diagnostics for the company's oncology pipeline. Dako has also forged deals with pharma heavyweights Amgen ($AMGN), Pfizer ($PFE) and Roche ($RHHBY) to develop tests for new treatments.

- read the release

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