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Irvine-based Agendia joins cancer collaboration

The local firm has teamed up with AstraZeneca, Netherlands Cancer Institute on the initiative.

By Kristen SchottPublished: May 10, 2011 02:41 PM

Irvine-based Agendia has joined forces with global pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca and the Netherlands Cancer Institute on an effort that seeks to speed up the development of individualized therapies for colorectal cancer.

Through the collaboration, the three organizations will work to identify differences in the disease at a molecular level. The program is expected to help physicians deliver more targeted therapies to those with the disease, which occurs in the large intestine or at the end of the colon.

In addition, the collaboration aims to lead to the development of personalized medical diagnostics "far earlier" in the production of new drugs than currently possible, said Bernhard Sixt, CEO and co-founder of the local molecular diagnostics firm.

"The collaboration has the potential to benefit not only the direct participants, but also the scientific community as a whole on the basis of providing a much greater understanding of the various disease types in the colorectal field," he said. "Our collaboration marks a continued shift in how we think about companion diagnostics and how they will be developed in the years to come."

Agendia, which makes targeted treatments for cancer patients, is charged with providing molecular data, bioinformatics support and diagnostic knowledge to help AstraZeneca identity different subtypes within colorectal cancer.

"AstraZeneca is committed to pursuing new and innovative collaborations to accelerate the delivery of promising therapies to patients, thus we are pleased to have partnered with two organizations that bring complementary and world-leading capabilities to our colorectal cancer programs," said George Orphanides, head of the Colorectal Cancer Disease Area at AstraZeneca. "Researchers have known for some time that there are different subtypes of colorectal cancer. The aim of this collaboration is to develop new therapies tailored to specific groups of colorectal cancer patients."

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