NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Personal Genome Diagnostics said today that it has reached an agreement with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to develop and commercialize products and services that include assessment of tumor mutation burden (TMB) biomarker status.
Under the terms of the licensing agreement, PGDx receives exclusive rights to develop both tissue- and blood-based diagnostics using MSK’s TMB-related intellectual property — an extension of work featured in a 2015 publication in Science, showing that non-small cell lung cancer patients with high TMB scores had a significantly better response to the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab than those whose tumors had fewer mutations.
TMB is a measure of the number of mutations present in cancer patients’ tumors, which growing evidence has shown can identify tumors that are more likely to respond to new immuno-oncology therapies.
PGDx has already announced the inclusion of TMB analysis in its tissue sequencing offerings, and the intention to develop blood-based methods for assessing mutation burden. CEO Doug Ward said in a statement that the new IP agreement with MSKCC reinforces other existing license positions with Johns Hopkins University.
"We are confident that the combined patent estate adequately protects our extensive investment and development plans for our TMB-enabling tests," he added.
Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.