Kindstar, Insight Genetics collaborate to improve cancer care in China

Molecular diagnostics company Insight Genetics and Kindstar Globalgene (Beijing) Technology, Inc., China's leading diagnostics company, today announced that the companies are partnering to enhance cancer care in the People's Republic of China and surrounding regions.    

The new partnership begins with a licensing agreement that allows Kindstar to add Insight Genetics' Insight ALK Screen™ lung cancer test to Kindstar's growing menu of tests that improve cancer diagnosis and patient care. Kindstar's diagnostic services, which are offered from its laboratories in Wuhan, Beijing and Shanghai, help physicians properly diagnose diseases and allow them to develop treatment plans for patients suffering from hematologic malignancies, solid tumors, and genetic diseases.

Insight Genetics' unique test broadens the company's ability to help doctors select the best possible treatments for patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Kindstar expects to launch Insight ALK Screen to its clinician and hospital customers throughout China, the Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, and Macau in July 2012.

"Adding Insight ALK Screen to our menu of tests is just the beginning of what we see as a broader strategic relationship with Insight Genetics," said Shiang Huang, MD, chief executive officer of Kindstar. "With Insight ALK Screen, we can offer clinicians more detailed information on their patients' particular forms of cancer so they can determine the most effective treatment course. Working with Insight Genetics over the long term, we see great opportunity to collaborate on the creation of additional tests that will help us spread the benefit of personalized cancer care to more people in China and surrounding regions."

Insight ALK Screen is a real-time PCR-based test that detects cancer-causing fusions and mutations of anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK). ALK fusions and mutations have been shown to be a contributing cause in approximately 5-10 percent of lung cancers. The test offers fast, accurate and comprehensive results that inform a physician if a patient's cancer is associated with ALK.

Knowing if a patient is ALK fusion-positive assists clinicians in determining if the patient can be treated with an ALK inhibitor, an emerging class of cancer therapy. Since only patients with ALK fusions are likely to respond to ALK inhibitors, accurate diagnostic screening is essential before prescribing ALK-targeted drugs.

"Kindstar is truly leading the way in enhancing China's healthcare system by making advanced diagnostics more widely accessible," said Eric Dahlhauser, Chairman and CEO of Insight Genetics. "We're proud to offer Insight ALK Screen to physicians across China, Hong Kong and Macau, and more importantly, begin our partnership with Kindstar to find ways that we can collaborate to enhance and personalize cancer care around the world."

Comparison testing has shown that Insight ALK Screen has many benefits over other ALK testing methods, including fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH) and immunohistochemistry (IHC). The assay offers the accuracy and reliability advantages of a qPCR platform without the need for validated primer pair for each fusion. Unlike a variant-specific multiplex strategy, Insight ALK Screen™ can detect the presence of any fusion within the ALK gene. It also can identify ALK upregulation without using a secondary platform.

In addition to the proven role it plays in select lung cancers, ALK has been found to have a pathogenic role in many cancers including diffuse large B-cell lymphoma, inflammatory myofibroblastic tumor, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. It is estimated that more than 1,300,000 new cancer diagnoses globally each year can be linked to ALK mutations and fusions.

Source:  Insight Genetics    

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