AMSTERDAM and IRVINE, California, May 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Agendia, an innovative molecular cancer diagnostics company, today announced that it has partnered with AstraZeneca and The Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) to accelerate the development of targeted therapies for colorectal cancer patients. The announcement marks a unique collaboration between Agendia, developer of the "MammaPrint" breast cancer molecular diagnostic test, a major research-based pharmaceutical company and a leading national cancer institute to tackle a cancer that results in approximately 500,000 deaths annually in Europe and the United States.
"In AstraZeneca and NKI, we have found two partners who have long been committed to developing innovative therapies to fight colorectal cancer," said Bernhard Sixt, CEO and cofounder of Agendia. "Agendia, NKI and AstraZeneca are working together to identify specific molecular subtypes in colorectal cancer. Thus, the collaboration has the potential to benefit not only the direct participants, but also the scientific community as a whole on the basis of providing a much greater understanding of the various disease types in the colorectal field. A key feature of this collaboration is that personalized medicine diagnostics may be developed far earlier in the development of new drugs than has previously been possible. Our collaboration marks a continued shift in how we think about companion diagnostics and how they will be developed in the years to come."
As part of the collaboration, Agendia will provide molecular data, bioinformatics support and diagnostic expertise to assist AstraZeneca in defining subpopulations within colorectal cancer, with a view to providing the basis for discovery and development of novel medicines suited to individual disease types in the area of colorectal cancer. Agendia's participation follows its success with the "Symphony" breast cancer genomic profile, which includes MammaPrint(R), the first and only FDA-cleared breast cancer recurrence assay.
"AstraZeneca is committed to pursuing new and innovative collaborations to accelerate the delivery of promising therapies to patients, thus we are pleased to have partnered with two organizations that bring complementary and world-leading capabilities to our colorectal cancer programs", said George Orphanides, Head of the Colorectal Cancer Disease Area at AstraZeneca. "Researchers have known for some time that there are different subtypes of colorectal cancer. The aim of this collaboration is to develop new therapies tailored to specific groups of colorectal cancer patients."
"Building on our discoveries in breast cancer, we have identified distinct molecular subtypes in colorectal cancer, each responding differently to various therapies," said Rene Bernards, professor of molecular carcinogenesis at NKI and cofounder of Agendia. "Along with our new partners, we aim to indentify drivers of the oncogenic process in each of these subtypes."
Agendia (http://www.Agendia.com) is an innovative molecular diagnostic company, striving to develop more effective, individualized treatments within reach of patients. Building on a genomics platform for tumor gene expression profiling, the company's tests help physicians more accurately select a course of cancer treatment for their patients. Agendia markets four products, with several new genomic tests under development. In addition, Agendia collaborates with pharmaceutical companies to develop companion diagnostic tests in the area of oncology. Agendia is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands and in Irvine, California.
SOURCE Agendia B.V.