Biocartis strengthens biomarker portfolio for colorectal cancer

April 26, 2016 – MECHELEN. Biocartis, an innovative molecular diagnostics company, today announces the exclusive licensing of a recently detected set of mutations in the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (EGFR) that give resistance to anti-EGFR therapies in colorectal cancer. The aim is to integrate these biomarkers into molecular diagnostic tests for the Idylla(TM) platform, to enhance their ability to monitor therapy resistance in patients and thereby allowing physicians to optimise treatment selection.

The most frequently observed resistance mutation in this domain, EGFR S492R, was previously detected by Dr. Montagut and Dr. Albanell (Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain) in 2012 and subsequently licensed to Biocartis for commercialisation on the Idylla(TM) platform. Several additional mutations have now been identified in a collaborative effort between the laboratories of Dr. Montagut and Dr. Bardelli (University of Torino, Italy).

These new mutations were identified in the EGFR ectodomain1 where anti-EGFR antibodies for the treatment of colorectal cancer prevent EGF binding, which causes the therapy not to work. The specific mutations were detected by comparing advanced preclinical methods with colorectal cancer patient data to identify these recently detected mechanisms of resistance (Arena et al.). This completed package of anti-EGFR resistance mutations has now been licensed by the different inventors to Biocartis, with the aim to integrate these into molecular diagnostic tests for the Idylla(TM) platform. This will enable clinicians to rapidly select the right treatment, and as such optimise health outcome for the patient.

Dr. Clara Montagut, Hospital del Mar, Barcelona, Spain, stated: “We are excited about our collaboration with Biocartis. Just a few years after discovery of the EGFR S492R resistance mutation in our lab, Biocartis has already developed and commercialised this mutation in its Idylla(TM) NRAS-BRAF-EGFRS492R Mutation Assay. The addition of this recently detected set of resistance mutations will enable us to provide even better care for our colorectal cancer patients receiving anti-EGFR therapy. I am very much looking forward to the liquid biopsy version of this test, since monitoring and identifying resistance in our patients should allow us to switch to more effective therapies that are available in clinical trials.”

Dr. Alberto Bardelli, University of Torino, Italy: “The EGFR S492R mutation accounts for 16% of resistance to anti-EGFR therapies. These recently detected mutations explain resistance in an additional 5-10% of patients and preclinical models. Therefore, these EGFR ectodomain mutations are now established as one of the main and dominant mechanisms of resistance in >20% of colorectal cancer patients treated with anti-EGFR antibodies. Together with RAS mutations, they constitute the main markers that need to be monitored during such therapy. The Biocartis platform and tests are ideally suited for that purpose.”

SOURCE: Biocartis