RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – May 26, 2009 – Today, Targeted Molecular Diagnostics (TMD), a Quintiles Central Laboratory, announced the availability of two new laboratory tests used to develop more effective cancer treatments.
These new tests are now being used in the clinical development of targeted therapies more likely to succeed in treating patients with cancer related to gene mutations. The lab tests, known as mutation assays, identify the genomic changes that occur in each patient’s cancer and help researchers find the optimum individual treatment plan. This type of personalized medicine supports therapies that are safer, more effective and efficient, and minimize unnecessary or potentially harmful treatments.
“The availability of these new assays is evidence of TMD’s dedication to advancing personalized medicine and targeted therapies,” said TMD founder Dr. Sarah Bacus, Senior Vice President, Chief Scientific Officer of Translational Medicine for Quintiles, which acquired TMD in November 2008. “TMD is one of the leading central laboratories to offer these assays for clinical development of oncology therapies.”
TMD’s new mutation assays, known as BRAF and PI3KCA, identify solid tumor mutations. Studies have shown a correlation between changes to BRAF and PI3KCA genes and individual responses to certain cancer treatments.
In many cancers, the BRAF gene may be mutated, which can increase the growth and spread of cancer cells. TMD’s BRAF assay detects the most commonly occurring mutation in this gene. Similarly, PI3KCA gene mutations have been found in various solid tumors, such as breast, colon, lung, ovarian, liver and stomach cancer. TMD’s PI3KCA assay detects the four most common mutations in this gene.
As assays are increasingly used to help in cancer treatment, TMD already offers a test for colorectal cancer related to KRAS gene mutation. Recently, the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the National Comprehensive Cancer Network recommended that all patients with metastatic colorectal cancer be tested for mutations to the KRAS gene.
“TMD was among the first laboratories to offer the KRAS test for the clinical development of treatments,” said Christopher Ung, Vice President Strategic Business and Operations for Quintiles’ TMD lab. “Using mutation assays is likely to become the standard of care in the future. Today, we are among the first to offer BRAF and PI3KCA assays, as these solid tumor mutations are on the leading edge of cancer research and personalized treatment options.”
TMD, a Quintiles Central Laboratory, is dedicated to improving the survival and quality of lives of cancer patients by using biomarker technologies to support the development of targeted therapies. Located in Westmont, Illinois, near Chicago, TMD supports the development of numerous targeted therapies in oncology such as EGFR, HER2, SRC, MEK, PI3K, HDAC and VEGF inhibitors. For more information, please visit www.tmdlab.com.
Quintiles Transnational Corp. helps bring new medicines to market and peak sales faster by providing innovative, high-quality development, partnerships and commercialization solutions to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. With 23,000 employees and offices in more than 50 countries, Quintiles is focused on providing customer-centric solutions that are the gold standard of the industry. For more information, please visit www.quintiles.com.