Roche licenses key cancer biomarker from Qiagen

Swiss pharma powerhouse Roche has inked a co-exclusive license on Qiagen's PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) biomarker so it can proceed with the development of new diagnostic assays. Johns Hopkins University owns the patent for the PI3K biomarker and previously granted an exclusive license to Qiagen's subsidiary DxS, now Qiagen Manchester.

The PI3K pathway has become a busy avenue for cancer drug developers. The biomarker plays a role in colorectal, gastric, breast and endometrial tumors, among others. And for Roche, which has mapped out an ambitious future for itself in personalized therapeutics, the biomarker represents a key signal on efficacy.

"There is abundant clinical evidence that the PI3K biomarker will play a significant role in the future of oncology treatment," says Paul Brown, president and CEO, Roche Molecular Diagnostics. "Diagnostic assays that detect mutations in PI3K will be an essential component of cancer drug development and personalized healthcare."

The PI3K assay will complement Roche's menu in the development of assays for validated biomarkers, including the B-RAF V600E mutation, found in greater than 50 percent of melanomas.

- here's the Roche release