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Rosetta Genomics, Meir Medical Partner on microRNA Biomarker Study

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Rosetta Genomics announced today that it has partnered with Israel's Meir Medical Center to develop a microRNA-based test to identify non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients who would benefit from a specific class of immunotherapeutics.

Under the terms of the deal, Rosetta will work with Meir to identify miRNAs that are differentially expressed between PD-L1-positive and PD-L1-negative NSCLC samples. PD-L1 is a protein involved in immune suppression and is overexpressed in certain tumors. A number of drugs have been approved to treat PD-L1 positive cancers including Bristol-Myers Squibb's Opdivo (nivolumab) and Merck's Keytruda (pembrolizumab).

Results of the study will be used to develop a classifier that can differentiate between PD-L1-positive and -negative samples, Rosetta said.

Additional terms of the partnership were not disclosed.

"Identifying the right patients is critical for optimizing the use of this new class of therapeutics, which is transforming the care of patients with cancer who are not responding to other treatment regimens," Maya Gottfried, a Meir researcher and principal investigator of the study, said in a statement. "MicroRNAs, with their high reproducibility, robustness, and accuracy, are well-suited to provide this valuable clinical information."

Rosetta President and CEO Kenneth Berlin added that the study is expected to "build on and support our earlier work with other researchers that suggests microRNAs can be better predictors of response to immuno-oncology drugs than other biomarkers currently being utilized to predict response."

On Monday, the firm announced it was selling its PersonalizeDx business to focus on its miRNA-based thyroid nodule classification test.