Cell Signaling Technology, Inc. (CST) of Danvers, MA announced today a joint commercialization partnership with Astellas Pharma, Inc. (Astellas) of Tokyo, Japan focused on the delivery of personalized cancer therapeutics and diagnostics. Under this agreement, CST and Astellas have pooled their respective worldwide intellectual property estates relating to the fusion kinase, EML4-ALK, to enable the commercialization of diagnostic and therapeutic products targeting this cancer enzyme. CST will have the sole rights to exploit these joint intellectual property estates in the field of human medical diagnostics worldwide. Astellas will have the sole rights to exploit these joint intellectual property rights in the field of human therapeutics worldwide.
CST, a leader in the development and manufacture of high performance antibody products for the medical research and clinical diagnostic markets, discovered the existence of certain variants of EML4-ALK in human cancer and has clinically validated specific antibodies detecting this enzyme in human cancer tissues from its internal Cancer Biomarker Program. "CST is very pleased to see that our focused cancer research efforts and proprietary antibody technology are being applied to the development of next-generation diagnostic and therapeutic products intended to fulfill the promise of personalized cancer medicine. EML4-ALK is currently one of the most promising therapeutic targets for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer. This agreement with Astellas enables the accelerated development of products targeting EML4-ALK," said Michael J. Comb, Ph.D., CST President and CEO.