Quintiles jumps into personalized medicine for cancer trials

Quintiles ($Q) has kicked off a study to determine whether early genomic profiling of cancer patients can help inform physician decisions and match the right participant with the right study, a method the CRO said could speed up the development process of personalized drugs.

The study, conducted alongside US Oncology Research, will examine the feasibility and clinical benefit of profiling metastatic colorectal cancer up front, screening for mutations that are targeted by both approved and in-development drugs and handing the information over to physicians, Quintiles said.

Researchers will perform a broad-based biomarker analysis on the patients long before the trial recruitment stage, company Chief Scientific Officer Jeffrey Spaeder said, and early indications from the study suggest that Quintiles can provide actionable information in about two weeks, making for efficient and effective enrollment.

"Today, the industry's approach to stratifying patients through genomic screening is sequential--testing for oncology biomarkers one at a time, and often only as part of screening for participation in a single clinical trial," Spaeder said in a statement. "Our work is taking a critical step toward making precision medicine a reality."

If Quintiles can in fact deliver on those early results, the CRO believes pre-profiling can accelerate early trials of personalized therapies, thereby shortening timeframes for clients, all while helping physicians match the right patient to the right trial, increasing access to live-saving drugs.

The study, titled "Feasibility Study of Biomarker Analysis for Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer," is supported by McKesson Specialty Health and the US Oncology Network.

- read Quintiles' statement

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