PGT, Quintiles collaborate to bring genomic testing into mainstream drug development

Quintiles, the world's leading biopharmaceutical services company, and Population Genetics Technologies Ltd. (PGT), creator of innovative solutions to reduce the costs and complexity of large-scale genomic testing and enable correlations with clinical outcomes, today announced a commercial collaboration to bring genomic testing into mainstream drug development in order to produce safer, more effective medicines.

Through the non-exclusive collaboration, Quintiles and PGT will jointly identify opportunities to apply the power of large-scale genomic analyses - using samples from hundreds to thousands of individuals - to test clinical hypotheses and correlate biomarkers of disease prognosis and drug responsiveness. This approach enables the rapid identification of rare and common alleles that collectively account for significant variation in treatment responses.

Such large-scale testing has been prohibitively expensive, as sample preparation, sequencing and analysis have to be undertaken separately for each sample. PGT's innovative technology can process many hundreds of genomes simultaneously, in a single sequencing assay, while still retaining the ability to identify each individual genome during post-sequencing data analysis.

"PGT's technology combined with Quintiles' global presence can bring the benefits of large-scale sequencing and analysis to virtually all biopharmaceutical companies," said M. King Jolly, Pharm.D., Senior Vice President of Quintiles Innovation. "The combination of Quintiles and PGT's capabilities can, we believe, increase the probability of success in clinical trials, reduce trial enrollment required to achieve statistical significance, and diminish the costs and/or time required to bring a product to market - all while improving product differentiation."

PGT Chief Commercial Officer Frank Massam, Ph.D., said: "Our first project with Quintiles is a renal cancer clinical trial to identify genetic markers predictive of both adverse events and efficacy, but our workflows are appropriate to all therapeutic areas. We are currently running programs in breast cancer, leukemia and Alzheimer's disease. We are proud to be associated with the work that Quintiles is leading to deliver real patient benefits from cutting-edge genomic research."

Both companies will seek other opportunities to demonstrate to biopharma companies, payers, academic researchers and patient groups the value of this approach to improving human health.

This collaboration further enhances Quintiles' established capabilities in genomics- and biomarker- based discovery and research. In addition to general genomic analyses provided by Quintiles Global Central Laboratories, Quintiles' Translational R&D Oncology group offers innovative genomic technologies to drive novel biomarker discovery and support more intelligent, data-driven clinical trial design and implementation for its customers.

Source: Quintiles

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