Test maker's shares soar on GSK cancer pact

Shares of diagnostic test maker Response Genetics (RGDX) spiked 51 percent on the news that pharma powerhouse GlaxoSmithKline had inked a non-exclusive deal covering the rights to its technology to assess BRAF gene mutations in tumor samples.

The BRAF gene encodes B-Raf proto-oncogene serine/threonine-protein kinase, a protein involved in cell signaling and cellular growth and differentiation. Specific genetic mutations have been correlated with the development of certain forms of cancer. Response Genetics can earn milestones on the deal, but their release failed to specify the dollars involved.

"As a provider of genetic testing services to GSK, we are pleased to continue to support GSK's clinical trial program," said Kathleen Danenberg, the president and CEO of Los Angeles-based Response Genetics. "Through access to our proprietary technology, Response Genetics provides pharmaceutical companies with unique information and insights. By identifying specific genetic mutations, such as in the BRAF gene, we hope to enable the development of diagnosis tools for disease prognosis that may aid in treatment decisions."

- check out the Response Genetiecs' release
- here's the story from Dow Jones