Almac banks $9M in diagnostics deal with Genomic Health

Contract developer Almac has signed a deal to license its technology to Genomic Health ($GHDX) for breast cancer diagnostics, reaping $9 million with the chance for a bigger payday down the road.

Under the deal, Almac's contract diagnostics arm will hand over some intellectual property to Genomic Health, which will then work to develop a multi-gene test to help determine whether breast cancer patients will respond to DNA-damaging chemotherapeutics. Next, Genomic Health will piece together a study cohort for Almac's identified genes, and the company is on track to dish out milestone payments according to clinical and commercial endpoints.

Almac Diagnostics is among the contractor's fastest-growing segments, developing both proprietary tests and sponsor-driven companion diagnostics, the company said, and the deal with Genomic Health presents a major opportunity to expand its visibility.

"As developers of novel prognostic and predictive tests, we are very pleased to partner with Genomic Health and look forward to leveraging their rigorous clinical validation approach and commercial expertise to advance our development work to reach patients," segment president Paul Harkin said in a statement. "We see tests such as this having a significant impact on accelerating personalized healthcare, thereby improving the clinical management of cancer patients."

For Genomic Health, the partnership gives it a chance to build on its success with Oncotype DX, its flagship breast cancer test.

"Over the past 10 years, Oncotype DX has played a critical role in predicting benefit of chemotherapy, in general, for more than 400,000 estrogen-receptor positive breast cancer patients," R&D Vice President Steven Shak said in a statement. "This new test may address another unmet need by providing additional information specific to the benefit from anthracycline-based regimens for high-risk patients and possibly those with triple-negative breast cancer as well."

- read the announcement