Bristol-Myers Squibb and QIAGEN have signed an agreement to explore the use of next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology to develop gene expression profiles (GEPs) as predictive or prognostic tools for use with Bristol-Myers Squibb novel immuno-oncology (I-O) therapies in cancer treatment. This will leverage the combination of Bristol-Myers Squibb’s portfolio of I-O therapies with QIAGEN’s proven track record in developing and commercializing companion and complementary diagnostics as well as QIAGEN’s portfolio of NGS technologies. I-O therapies offer a novel way to treat cancer by using drugs to target the body’s immune system to help fight cancer.
QIAGEN and Bristol-Myers Squibb intend to develop GEPs for several Bristol-Myers Squibb I-O molecules under the initial agreement. The companies also plan to enter into a further agreement to develop diagnostic products using the jointly developed GEPs and to expand the use of NGS technology with other Bristol-Myers Squibb I-O therapies.
“Greater precision in the treatment of cancer may enable faster decision making to identify which patient populations are most likely to derive benefit from our immuno-oncology agents,” said Fouad Namouni, M.D., head of Development, Oncology, Bristol-Myers Squibb. “We believe working with QIAGEN will help develop better diagnostic tools to target the most appropriate immunotherapies across a number of different tumor types.”
“We are very pleased to work with Bristol-Myers Squibb to potentially create what could be the first-ever NGS-based companion or complementary diagnostic to provide key insights for personalized decision-making in the rapidly expanding area of immuno-oncology,” said Peer M. Schatz, Chief Executive Officer of QIAGEN. “Our teams at QIAGEN are looking forward to working with Bristol-Myers Squibb to leverage the power of NGS technology to potentially improve outcomes for patients.”
QIAGEN and Bristol-Myers Squibb have been partnering since 2009. A key milestone in this partnership was the FDA approval of the Therascreen KRAS companion/complementary diagnostic assay in 2012.