MIODx announced today that it has signed an exclusive license for two key immunotherapy technologies from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). The first technology provides a method to monitor a patient for response to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy such as PD-L1 and CTLA-4. The second license extends the technology with a method to detect if a patient is likely to have an immune-related adverse event (IRAE) from their immunotherapy regimen.
"Diagnostic assays that help guide immunotherapies represent a huge unmet clinical need," said Lawrence Fong, MD, a science advisor to MIODx and leader of the Cancer Immunotherapy Program at the Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCSF. "Rather than treating all patients, we need to select patients who can respond to these treatments as well as determine which patients may develop side effects."
Immunotherapies have shown tremendous gains in the treatment of certain cancers. The field of cancer immunotherapies has exploded with hundreds of drugs currently in clinical trials or in development.
"While we are very excited by what we see in terms of the effect these drugs have on certain patient populations, we believe that there remains a critical need to monitor patients, as there is still a huge unknown on what is happening to their immune system," said MIODx CEO M. Allen Northrup, PhD, FRSC.
This partnership was facilitated by the UCSF Office of Technology Management (OTM), which coordinates UCSF's efforts in forging collaborations and licensing technologies that translate cutting-edge science on campus into products and therapies that directly benefit people worldwide.
MIODx also announced that they have entered into an agreement with UCSF to provide immunosequencing services as part of the validation and commercialization of the technology.
"We plan on having two paths forward for the immunosequencing platform," said Sean Givens, the company's COO. "As a research service for pharma and academics working on checkpoint inhibitor therapies, and as a doctor-ordered test for oncologists to monitor their patients that are undergoing immunotherapy."
MIODx has already begun working with collaborators and expects to launch the research service in Q2 2017.
MIODx is a privately held company leading the discovery of early detection and prognostic cancer biomarkers through the company's proprietary platforms. The company's VerifyDx™ platform utilizes a highly sensitive, multiplex PCR assay and advanced bioinformatics to interrogate multiple DNA and RNA pathways that are implicated in highly metastatic cancer. In addition to the VerifyDx™ platform, MIODx utilizes high throughput immune sequencing to generate information on T and B cell diversity that is being applied to monitoring a patient's response to immunotherapy.